Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Finding some balance

This season in life is a weird one. Some days I feel like I have everything figured out, and I do a good job of balancing all that is going on and all the "hats" I am wearing right now: I can be a mom, a wife, a daughter, a sister, an employee, a coworker, a friend... all at once. And other days I feel like I can barely keep it together enough to be any one of those things, let alone all of them! I'm sure that's how most new moms feel, but it is definitely requiring some mental adjustments to let myself figure out how to live this version of life. There are times when it feels like I've been doing this forever, and other times I remind myself that I have literally only been a mom for 8 months, and that is such a tiny piece of time. There is no rush to have it all figured out quite yet.

I've been back at work for about five months now, and while we have a good routine, and I am very lucky to have a very flexible environment and understanding team, some days it feels like I can barely keep it all together to make it work. I got two pieces of good advice recently, one from a random blog and one from a coworker. The random blog said, you can be a great mom and a great employee, but you will likely never be great at both at the same time. That really resonated with me - if I am being great at one of those things, I am likely just being good at the other... and that is okay! Sometimes I'm being a great worker. Sometimes I'm being a great mom. Neither is suffering when I'm just being good, though. I have to give myself a little grace and understanding, and know that being good is good enough.

A few days after I read that blog post (really wish I could remember the source.. oops. Mom brain!), I had a meeting with my career manager / mentor at work. We were supposed to be discussing my current career goals. Over coffee, I was completely honest with her and told her that, truth be told, I really don't have any career goals right now. My goal is to keep doing my job while I figure out how to be a mom. Wouldn't you know, she looked right at me and said, "Your goal is to tread water. And treading water is okay!" I needed so badly to hear that from her. She is a mom and an employee with many more years experience under her belt, and she understands where I am in life right now - so lucky for me! I needed someone to tell me that, right now, I don't need to be setting giant lofty goals and trying to propel myself forward. Instead, I need to learn how to maintain and keep my head above water. You can't keep swimming forward if you don't know how to just keep from drowning to start with! So here I am. Treading water. And it's okay. I will do the best I can, of course, and do the best work I can, but also admit to myself that some (most) days the 80% solution will have to do instead of the 100% solution. That is a little bit hard to come to terms with, but I'm working through it mentally. I have many years ahead of me to learn how to do everything really well again! For now, I'll just keep treading water. 

This sweet boy makes it all worth it - I know I will look back on this time later and barely remember the things I thought were so difficult. He is such a joy to us!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Lake weekending

You know the old saying, the days are long but the weeks are short? I think it generally refers to any amount of time spent at home with your kids, but I find it also applies to blogging... It never feels like much time is passing and then I look up and it's been 6 weeks since my last post. Oops.

The truth of the matter is, when I started this blog, I was semi-fresh out of college, working a job that wasn't entirely fulfilling, used to be super busy, and feeling like I had no hobbies or creative outlets. I still don't have a ton of hobbies and I'm no longer fresh out of college, but I obviously have enough going on to fill my days that I don't need blogging as much as I used to. That's not to say I don't still enjoy it when I do it - writing has always been good for me and special for me. So this little corner of the Internet will remain open for whenever I decide to pop back in. Like now. Hi. 

We went to the lake this weekend and had such a nice time. C took off on Friday and so we hit the road early after the baby woke up and ate, and we were at the house by lunchtime. My mom greeted us with BLTs for lunch, which is always awesome. C and I took the jet ski out while the baby napped, and we had a delicious steak dinner and watched the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. Truthfully, the steak was actually awful, but the rest of dinner was delicious. Isn't it disappointing when you just get a terrible cut of meat and there's no way to solve it... Or eat it? C'est la vie. 

Quiet coffee on the screen porch on Saturday morning during the baby's nap - amazing!

Two of my high school girlfriends joined us on Saturday and it was wonderful to catch up with them. Normally our girls' weekends consist of wine and a fancy dinner in one of our hometowns, but this time around I invited them to join us at the lake and was so happy they obliged! We got lucky during a rainy, gray weekend and got a sunny afternoon, so we got to enjoy a boat ride and dock time with cold beers. As Lizzy said, this is actually the life!! We took the baby on the boat, and he promptly fell asleep the minute we left the cove and didn't wake up until we pulled back in. Apparently that is the best kind of white noise!

C put on his chef hat and whipped up homemade mozzarella sticks and chicken Parmesan for dinner, and my mom made peach pie for dessert. I do love eating good food with good people. 

We squeezed in one more boat ride on Sunday before heading home, and the baby actually stayed awake this time - and he loved it! He couldn't stop jumping up and down and squealing in delight - I do believe we are raising a water baby. I love these memories we are already making with him! 

In case this weekend sounds like it was all roses, I will have you know we experienced a major poop-splosion 15 minutes before we were heading out the door to go home... But then again, maybe it WAS all roses, because 15 minutes later and it would have been a car-poop-splosion, which is so much worse. Parenting wins, my friends. It doesn't take much. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

currently // july

toasting: to America, and to my mom on her recent retirement! After about a million years teaching public school, she is done for good. I am so excited for her and her next adventures!

going: not to the beach! Womp, womp. Our family beach trip, normally scheduled for mid-July, isn't taking place until September this year, so we actually have a bunch of free summer weekends. It's a nice change of pace. And I might actually get my car inspection done before the last day of July this year ;)

smelling: new candles! Went to my linen closet to get a fresh one last week and discovered, horror of all horrors, I was out of anything that wasn't "Autumn Leaves" or "Fresh Snow." While I love those, they just weren't cutting it while it's 100 degrees and soupy with humidity outside. I placed a BBW order, and fresh scents arrived on my doorstep yesterday. I've got "Endless Weekend" and "Beautiful Day" calling my name.

wearing: a lot of yoga pants and leggings, per usual. If I don't have to wear "real" clothes, I'm not doing it.

wishlisting: is it too early for fall clothes? Last year, I was semi-to-super pregnant, and skipped all the fall fashions. I'm looking forward to some new items this year.

linking up with In Residence and Gold & Bloom!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Things I Might Be Embarrassed to Tell My Son

Right before the baby was born, I ran to Hallmark with a serious need for a baby book. I needed somewhere to put his foot prints when he was born and I was terrified he would come and I wouldn't have a book. (Spoiler alert: he was still a few weeks away!) Anyway, I found a relatively simple one without too many spaces for writing (who has time for novels when you have a newborn? Not this girl) and just enough spaces for pictures and mementos. I did remember to pack the book in the craziness that was "my water broke, we have to go!" And did get a really sweet nurse to put two-day-old foot prints in the book. I die a little every time I see those tiny feet!

So far, I have sat myself down to write in the book approximately every three months - yikes. But thank god for Instagram and Facebook because I can scroll back and remember what he was doing when, and write it under the appropriate month. Mom win!

Last night, I sat down to fill in the "when you were born..." Sections with headlines, prices, pop culture, etc. and... To be honest, I feel a little silly. I can't believe these are the things I will be telling him about 10 or 20 years from now!! What the heck are we doing? I actually had to write "Justin Beiber" in my son's baby book to save forever... Hopefully I'm not embarrassed to tell my son about these popular things later on in life. I can already see myself being 70 years old and trying to validate why the Kardashians were famous. I can't do it now, why will I be able to do it then?! Sigh.

I thought it might be fun to share what I wrote down, and see if anyone has any other suggestions. Here's what I have so far:

(He was born at the beginning of January, so I've tried to keep this answers to that time frame!)

The Cost of.... (we live in Northern Virginia, for reference!)

  • A gallon of milk: $3.19
  • A 2-liter of soda: $1.00
  • A loaf of bread: $1.50
  • A cup of coffee: $2.50 (regular grande at Starbucks)
  • A gallon of gas: $1.95
  • A First-Class stamp: $0.47
  • A movie ticket: $10
  • A newspaper: $2.00 (daily copy of the Washington Post)

The big news events: Joaquin Guzman was captured, President Obama visited Cuba, Zika virus outbreak began, David Bowie and Alan Rickman died

The big world leaders: Barack Obama, Justin Trudeau, Vladimir Putin, David Cameron, Pope Francis

Some popular songs: Hello (Adele), Sorry (Justin Bieber), Hotline Bling (Drake), Stitches (Shawn Mendes),  Die a Happy Man (Thomas Rhett), Burning House (Cam)

Movies on the big screen: The Jungle Book, Deadpool, Zootopia

Some favorite TV shows: The People vs. OJ Simpson, The Americans, The Night Manager, Game of Thrones

Some really famous people: Taylor Swift, the Kardashians, Caitlyn Jenner, Amy Schumer, Prince, Ryan Reynolds, Blake Shelton, Adam Levine

Some sports stars: Peyton Manning, Steph Curry, Alex Ovechkin, Bryce Harper, Lionel Messi

Best-selling books: The Obsession (Nora Roberts), The Last Mile (David Baldacci), The Lake House (Kate Morton)

Some trendy things (styles, gadgets, sayings): Flat screen smart TVs, new iPhones, Apple Watch and FitBit, Snapchat, Instagram

Any categories I should write in? What would you add to the categories above? Do you have a baby book for your child?

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Thoughts on Orlando

I am nauseated by the headlines coming out of Orlando. Thinking about it makes me feel physically ill. I can't click on the links; I can't read the stories. My eyes glaze over as I skim the sensationalistic words - I can't bring myself to read the timelines, or the stories of heroics, or the biographies of victims. I don't have it in me.

I'm tired of prayers. I’m so tired of them. I’m tired of everyone saying “praying for wherever!” because honestly, that approach doesn’t appear to be working. I'm tired of hashtags and retweets, making it so simple you don't even have to write your own words to express sympathy, just click and copy someone else's. I’m angry that celebrities and politicians, once again, are making the requisite sympathetic statements and demanding change but not actually doing anything to create it. I hate seeing people with power asking “how can we let this keep happening?” and then never thinking about it again until the next big event.

I know that gun control isn’t the whole answer. I know that a person who is determined to hurt people will find a way to do it, regardless of the weapon that is available to them. I know that if it isn’t guns, it’ll be knives, or bombs, or something. But I just can’t understand that we make it so easy for it to be guns. I just can’t wrap my head around it. Gun control isn’t whole answer, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t any of the answer. It’s certainly part of it. There is no reason whatsoever that a person needs access to weaponry of such mass destruction, and with hardly any questions asked before they get that kind of access. How is that acceptable?

Almost ten years ago, my world was shattered when a mass shooting occurred on my college campus, just a few buildings over from where I was in class. I thought that would be the worst it would ever be – 32 families destroyed by a single man. I am shocked, though I probably shouldn’t be, that almost ten years since that horrible day, 50 more families are suffering this abomination, left to pick of the pieces of broken lives, missing their loved ones, because almost nothing has changed. Once again, one man had the power to create carnage and devastation. What will it take for the reaction to be more than shaking of heads and memes circulating on the internet? Why is this ok? Why are we not, collectively, angrier that this has become the norm in this country? I just don’t understand. I can’t understand. And once again, I am so sad, so heartbroken that this has happened, and struggling with the knowledge that it seems like it will just keep happening, time after time.