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Feelings and all of that

I should probably be sleeping right now.

I've been awake since 4 am, and at this point, I can't just go back to sleep. Which is okay, because I'd love to spend some time with my keyboard.

Nolan's been sleeping through the night lately, in his own bed. Getting him there took nearly a year, but we got into a good rhythm just before we left for 5 nights in Gettysburg. I thought that might be the end of that. It wasn't.

The past 2 or 3 nights, though, he wakes up upset and needing to snuggle. We are just about done with breastfeeding, and I think he misses all that comfort and extra cuddling.

Maybe I do, too?

Yesterday,  Nolan's grandparents and Aunt Steph came over for cake and to shower him with so many presents. (We decided against a big party this year.) It was lovely. Nolan was showered with lots of attention and love, which is exactly what I wanted for him at his birthday celebration.

I was surprised to find out that I didn't feel the way I thought I would. I thought I'd feel warm fuzzies and movie-worthy magical moments, or something like that. Instead, I just felt sad.

I know that seems strange, doesn't it?

I just remembered today that I wanted to make a banner out of pictures of Nolan's first year. I really wanted one, but somewhere in Tim's traveling and getting sick and me trying to wrap my mind around how to adequately celebrate a year of being parents to an amazing little kid, I forgot. I also really wanted to take Nolan to the park yesterday. It was a beautiful day, and we need to get ourselves into the sunshine as much as possible these days, but I knew I couldn't do it all in time, so I stewed. I mean, I was really grumpy for a little while. And then I wised up. Everyone would be fine with out a banner, right? We went to the park and climbed the stairs, slid down slides, crawled under a bridge, rode those springy things that rock back and forth and make me nervous every time. We ran through leaves and found a basketball and enjoyed our neighborhood on the trip up and back. At one point, I answered a text just as Nolan looked back at me in a look, Mom! kind of way. It broke my heart that I was on my phone just when we was trying to share a moment with me, so I put it away.

The whole experience was just good. Just what we both needed, I think. But it meant there were no decorations. Although I still feel like I made the right choice, I just know I can do better at putting together a get-together than that. I know Nolan doesn't care and  only I do.

I just...maybe it's the time change(I struggle with S.A.D) or my little boy growing up or the not knowing how to wrap up this past year in a nice and pretty way, but yesterday was just emotionally difficult for me.

Steph stayed afterward last night and we drank wine, and I so needed that.

My husband listened while I tried to explain the mess that was in my head, then hugged me tight and rubbed my feet.

Today, I am going over to a dear friend's house, where I will share a meal with some of my favorite people. Kelly and Lindsey both have adorable, crazy little boys, too, but they are older than Nolan. I know they'll commiserate with me and make me feel like I'm going to be okay.

And I am. I'm okay.


In list form, the things in this post that are so good in my life (as in, things I am thankful for)(because I think I do need this right now):

#7 (still continuing that list and trying to get to 25 before Thanksgiving). Time to myself, in the morning,my prime time.

#8. Nolan is sleeping (mostly) through the night! In his own bed!

#9. seeing Nolan so loved by his grandparents and his aunt

#10. Playing in the park with my son? One of my favorite things to do right now.

#11. Nolan's grandma and grandpa got him snow gear! So unless it's actually dangerous, our outdoor time has been given new life over what's supposed to be a snowy winter.

#12. I love my sister-in-law, of course, but I also really like her. I mean, I would choose her as a friend even if we weren't related. Also, I really just needed to relax and have a glass of wine last night, and she was there to enjoy it with me. That did me so much good.

#13. Nolan sleeping through the night means I can stay up sometimes and hang out with  my husband, who I miss.

#14. Kelly

#15. Lindsey

#16. French press coffee. (Oh, I didn't mention that? That is happening this morning!)


A Bit of a Funk

I've been in a bit of a funk this week. I'm not miserable, just physically exhausted and emotionally impatient. I can't even tell you why. Life isn't particularly difficult lately; in fact, it's I've got quite a bit of good going on.

It seems these kinds of times are perfect for writing out what it is that I'm so glad to have in my life.

Anyone else in a bit of a funk and needing to join me?

#4 on the thankfulness list: my community group. They/we don't really have a name, but that's what I call them in my head. We meet once a week or once every other week and share a meal, child care, thoughts, updates on life, and are reading through Christopher J.H.Wright's The Mission of God together. We have a "we can talk about anything, including (especially if needed) conflict"  policy. There is a lot of belly laughing going on and no pretension.

#5. I joined up with The Gracious Pantry's Exercise Challenge Facebook group. I really look forward to my check-ins! It's a great place to exchange encouragement, motivation, and "tough love" when needed.

#6. Today is my sister's birthday!!! We are separated by many, many miles, but today I'm comforted by the fact that she's with her husband, Chris. Have you met him? I LOVE that guy. I have no doubt that Katie is being celebrated just like she should be today.

18 days until Thanksgiving!


Thanksgiving: 24 Days

The countdown til Thanksgiving is on!..along with a "challenge" to document 25 things I have to be grateful for.

I've written about 2 so far- on to number 3!

See that beautiful woman next to me? That's my very good friend, Sonya, and her adorable 6-week-old baby girl.

Sonya and I have been friends for over 15 years, but have grown especially close during the last few. She is like a breath of fresh air. We're so different and yet the same. She puts my anxious mind at ease with just a few words, and our friendship has that "oh, yeah? me, too! I thought I was the only one!" factor. We have the kind of friendship that's okay with saying nothing or everything...or both. I'm pretty sure I could never have enough Sonya time, which made it even MORE special when she traveled to my house from an hour away last week WITH an itty-bitty baby. <--She's amazing, right?


Thanks Giving

My morning started early again.

I was just ready to get up, ready for some dark, quiet time alone with my morning requisite bottle of water, immediately followed by a hot cup of coffee.

I'm reading The Mission of God with a group of friends. It's the kind of reading I can't do all at once and still absorb. It's the kind of reading I'll sometimes do out loud to help me better take it in.

I'm really getting into it, loving it maybe, but I need to stop for a few minutes right now and express some thankfulness. Does that ever happen to you? I found myself so distracted (overwhelmed, maybe) by how lucky I must be, that I could hardly see the words on the page any more.

So. I quite understand if this is the kind of post you'd rather not read. It is, after all, early in the morning, and frankly, I'm not always in the mood to read, "oh, hey, look at me! my life is great!" posts, either.

But there are 25 days until Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday!), and I'm wondering if you'd like to join me in writing out (at least) 25 things I am/you are/we are so glad to have until then.

I'll start.

My husband arrived home from a business trip last night. Nolan and I spent 3 days away last weekend and then this extra day away from his dad had my baby boy all out of sorts. (The boy LOVES his dad.) Last night, the 3 of us just hung out and played and it was probably all that time away from each other that created a moment when I just watched them  and took them in and thought this is the good life.

I probably could write out 25 things, based solely on that picture. A dad who loves his son in word AND in deed. A son who adores, who basks in his attention, shows off even. Both of them my boys,  my favorites. Of course.

They're number 1 and 2 on my thankfulness list.


Good Night

I'm in the mood to record a few thoughts right now, so I'm going to attempt an unedited version while Nolan rearranges the furniture (ie. pushes the recycling bin around the kitchen).

I'm crossing my fingers that everything I was just thinking doesn't fly out of my mind this very moment that I decide to write.

That boy? The apple of my eye (<--that is literally the phrase that just came to mind, but not something I would normally say. You get what I mean, though, right?), but sometimes I just need a break from being a mother. Last night, Tim told me to plan to do something relaxing when he got home from work, so I headed to my sister-in-law's with a bottle of wine. We bundled up and sat outside on her perfect porch and just talked for a few hours and then I went home, excited.

Because I'd missed Steph and I'd missed having long, thoughtful conversations...and of course, by the time I arrived home, I was looking forward to some snuggles with a certain little boy.

I'm feeling particularly grateful and (maybe uncharacteristically) secure this weekend. Sometimes I find myself getting downright insecure, and you know what? It is usually the result of projections and assumptions when I really just need to have a conversation.

I could write and write and write tonight

but I won't

because my husband just joined us

(Nolan squealed with delight, of course. He LOVES his daddy. )

and I want to enjoy my family before Nolan goes to bed.




I am up too early and kind of excited about it.

Too early means I get to sit in the quiet with coffee and write.

It means I get to start my day by dwelling on what makes this life so rich.

(Oh, hey, I do like mornings when I've had enough or closet to enough sleep!)

Just a few things I'm dwelling on today:

I leave for vacation in 24 days. My first few days in Mississippi let me know that time away with my little family is something I very much like indeed (I was surprised only because I'd heard so many times that vacation as a mom isn't really vacation). Being together is probably our very favorite thing, and we're in for a whole week of it.

I've started working out again. I'd been practicing some challenging yoga (this is my favorite right now), ideally twice a week, and for a little while it was enough. I got plenty of informal exercise just by spending the day with Nolan. But he's getting more independent now (less lifting) and I found myself complaining too much about a flabby this or that and not feeling as strong as I like, so it's back to exercise for me. I'm not going with a specific program, just whatever sounds good and challenging, and I'm not training for anything in particular. (Anyone out there training for anything? I'm usually looking for something that will grab my attention.)

I've been hosting "Moms' Brunches" once a month on Tuesday mornings. There's no real agenda, other than enjoy time together with other moms who pretty much get the world of parenting, eat, and relax. Oh. my. goodness. This has been so refreshing for me.  This whole parenting thing is like living in a different world. It's been so wonderful to talk with women who all do parenting a little differently, but come to the table with a "we're all doing the best we can" attitude and a willingness to share ideas and really listen. (My husband can stop buying me gifts now. He is the one who encourages me to do them and helps me set-up beforehand.) (My official plug: if you're a mom, you could make brunch on Tuesday mornings in the Reading area, and could use something like this, please email me! I'd love to add you to the next invite list and the Facebook group so we can all stay in touch in between.)

Full social calendar this week! Tonight, Eric and Steph are coming over for dinner, and I'm thinking of making

Lebanese-style Ground Beef Kabobs


Roasted Pepper Dip

I get such a kick out of planning, making, and sharing meals. Can't wait to share one with those two!

Oh, I think Nolan's waking up, and it's still "too early." Better go relieve Tim so he can get a little more sleep!


An Interesting Story

Sometimes I wonder am I doing this friendship thing right?

People spin in and out of my life, I in and out of theirs.

It seems kind of natural

but I find myself longing for the kind of friendship that is every day.

I want to not have to tell my background info over and over.

What I really want is to be understood. Known.

I have a theory that everyone is an interesting story

if only they know how to tell it.

If only we know how to listen.

I have trouble telling my story sometimes.

I'm so grateful for those who read between the lines.


Hello, Monday

Thank you so much for the questions and comments on fair trade! Those I've received so far have given me some great food for thought. Now I'm pretty sure I have enough material for several articles. Please keep your questions/criticisms/overall thoughts on fair trade coming!

Monday has, once again, arrived a little too quickly. We just love weekends around here!

One way to combat the Monday blues? Think of, list out, plan more things I have to look forward to this week.


Hello, Monday.

Hello, walking with my mom and Nolan to hash out plans for Katie's bridal shower. (I love everything about this- the people in it, the walking, the planning...)

Hello, ordering (lots of!) chocolate for my first big fair trade- centric event.

Hello, Bob Harper Inside Out Method workouts (I'm feeling pretty "tough" lately, and I love it.)

Hello, hair cut! I need one, pretty badly.

Hello, meeting up with a dear friend who I feel like I just can't get enough time with. (She's the kind that is "like a breath of fresh air." )

Hello, extra day off for my hubby, my BROTHER coming home, and Easter egg dying with some pretty fantastic kids.

Your turn! What are you looking forward to this week?


Last Week

I wrote a bit about Tim being busy, not having a car, etc. in my last post. That very same night, he came home, took over baby duties for a few hours, and told me to go find a way to relax. SUCH a blessing- Nolan had been cranky for nearly the whole day, and I was exhausted.

My way to relax? I stuffed my face with as much sugar and fat as I could handle and took a bath.

I confessed my emotional eating to my husband, who did nothing but encourage me. And with that- although we did have some rough spots and sleep deprivation-memories of the past 5 days are nothing but sweet.

I mean sweet. I feel like I'm just oozing with happiness and excitement kind of sweet. I feel like I should issue a warning if you're reading this and just not awake yet kind of sweet.

It might be the coffee I'm drinking or the hormones raging through my body or the baby who woke up in a good mood after sleeping in his own bed last night.

Other possible reasons:


I've always been a family girl, but can I just say how lucky I feel to have married a man whose extended family live nearby? Some of them have become treasured friends of mine, and I love it when I am able to get time with them during the week.

Also? There are some family members (ahem- Mom, Dad, Mary Ellen, and Steph) who act like I am doing them a favor when they come over to hang out with both of us or watch him while I go out. That just does so much good for me (and Nolan) in so many ways.


Right now, I'm working out for quality of life, strength, and comfort in my own skin. For me, that's much more motivating than any particular number). With some help with Nolan while I worked out, I was able to complete yoga every day with the exception of Friday (including one studio class that left me feeling fantastic), three 30 Day Shred workouts, and a walk around the neighborhood on the one day it wasn't too cold or rainy for him.

I feel good. I really believe that physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental health are all tied together.



My "word of the year" is so fitting as things are continuing to change- in exciting and scary ways!- around here. Not quite at the point where I can write about them publicly, but soon?

There is more to list, but while my I have a sleeping baby next to me, I want to go catch up with your posts and emails! A cup of coffee, a full heart, a happy baby,and catching up with friends- I'm soaking up every drop of this Sunday morning.

I hope you are, too.


So Much

As you might have guessed, we have so much to be thankful for over here.

Just to name a few....

These two. My boys have magic powers that turn my heart into mush, I'm telling you.

A well-stocked fridge (even though the only food we've really purchased recently is milk, produce, and Clif bars). Thank you to every one who has made this happen!

An upcoming visit from some of my favorites (who live WAY too far away for my liking, but make our time together all the sweeter).

Little surprises. This particular surprise comes from my Uncle Dave, complete with a card for Tim and I, and a letter for Nolan imprinted in the front of the book. How many different ways can I use "love" before it loses its meaning? Because I love this.

The kind of friends with whom I can completely relax. (I'm thinking about you, Sonya!)

A postnatal yoga DVD that is just challenging enough.

A relaxed and beautiful morning on what is one of my very favorite holidays.

I'm wishing you a very happy Thanksgiving! If you feel so inclined, I'd love to read about what's putting a smile on your face today!