Lately…

Well hello there!

It’s been over a month since I last posted, but it feels like I just blinked and here I am?

Life as a family of three (four if you count Charlie and five if you count Cosmocat, which Matt wouldn’t count) has been going well!  Lots of changes (but still lots of the same, like I mentioned the last time I checked in).  Things just generally have a really hectic feel to them right now!

I think most of that is because we are getting used to our new routine as I have gone back to work after my three month maternity leave.  I sure do miss that time at home with my little Nolie, but the transition back to work has gone really well.  Just… hectic.

Things just feel constantly busy.  Between an hour long commute both ways each day (with a little babe that is not a fan of traffic at all!- neither is his mom!), day care drop offs, getting to work, the constant pump pump pumping throughout the day, visiting the little guy at lunch, the drive home, the bedtime routine, the washing of ALL THE BOTTLES, and the pump parts, and then making dinner for ourselves… by the time 8pm rolls around we’re absolutely spent!

We’ve fine tuned this routine a bit… making lists of what needs to be done each morning (remembering the bottles and the extra clothes for daycare and the pump parts), etc. etc.  The lists help us kind of keep track of all of this chaos.  But there’s still just this overwhelming feeling of constant hectic-ness that we feel kind of all the time.  Maybe that will get better over time, as we continue to get used to our routine?  The commute takes a lot out of all of us- that’s a rough one.  Nolan doesn’t love it, we don’t love it, and it makes a long, busy day even longer.  It also makes it so that we get home, left with not much time to hangout and play with our little human!

But honestly, it IS going really well!  I swear.  (Blogs are for venting and straight up honesty, right?)  We ARE getting a routine down, albeit a busy one, and that’s okay.  Nolan is doing really really well at daycare, and we’re really happy with the place we chose.  Getting back to work has been really good- my boss and co-workers are so supportive, and having some adult interaction has been a good thing.  I miss my little man tons, but I’m fortunate that the daycare we chose (and chose in big part for this reason) is right down the street from work, and I can visit him and nurse him each day.  On Mondays he is with his Nana and Grampy, and on Fridays I’m off with him.  I love Fridays!

And he’s doing awesome!  4 months now and he’s just the happiest baby ever!  Smiling almost all the time, starting to giggle which is just the best thing ever!, allllmost ready to roll over, loving his toes and any and everything in his mouth, and generally making us feel so very blessed every day.

Life is plugging along… time sure does fly.  Here’s a few pictures of our little guy from recently…

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Thank you so much for those of you who follow along on here, and on Facebook and Instagram where I post more pics of my little guy.  Thank you for your kind words of encouragement and suggestions on all things baby- from how to make long drives with crying Nolan more bearable, when you started solids, your take on when to start sleep training, and so much more.  I appreciate all of you!

On the new norm…

Blogging on a Saturday night.  Welcome to parenthood!?

I figure if I keep waiting to write here “when I have time,” it probably won’t happen.  Evenings tend to be the only time where time is really my own anymore.  While I’m totally fine with that, most often once 8 o’clock rolls around, I’m pretty beat, and you can find me reclined on the couch dozing off watching The Bachelorette, or heading to bed early to get some shut-eye before Nolan’s first wake up of the night.  What I’m saying is, I tend not to spend time on my laptop much anymore, unless I make a point to, like tonight!

Life as we once knew it has naturally changed in a lot of ways since Nolan arrived, but in many respects, things are the same, but with a hectic, whirlwind of a twist to them.  For instance, we still go out to eat, but we have a mini human with us now, and our meals are timed around when Nolan goes to bed, or if we’re going out, dining has brought about mastering the new skill of juggling a fork in one hand, and a bouncy baby in the other.  Nolan loves to nap sweetly or chill in his car seat until exactly when our meals arrive, and then he’s all “hold me!” “love me!” “hear me cry!”

I’ve gradually gotten back into an exercise routine over the last several weeks, which is something that’s always been important to me.  Shorter, HIIT type workouts are working well for both Nolan and I.  Until recently, since he’s started his naps in the crib, this is how we’d spend a lot of my workouts…

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Other things that have remained the same, yet different, are family walks with Charlie, except now we have our mini human, who we either take along in the BOB stroller, or one of us will wear him during our stroll.

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Speaking of Charlie, she’s been SO good with Nolan.  Very protective of him, and of me, and really good with him in general.  She’s still a pup, so she gets excited and goes in for a full face lick a lot of the time, but she’s doing well!

What else?  We still enjoy our mealtime together, but one thing we do miss is cooking together. We haven’t quite mastered that yet.  Usually Matt will cook dinner while I’m nursing Nolan before bed, or I’ll prepare something while he’s out for a walk with Charlie.  Also, we eat a lot later than we used to- more an adjustment for me than for Matt, as I’m always all about my next meal, and eating late sometimes throws me off.  It’s the new norm though; I’m getting used to it!

We’ve always both been morning people, and that sure does have a new meaning now, as our little dude also loves the mornings, rising around 6AM and raring to go for the day!  That’s okay by us, as in less than a week (sniff), I go back to work, and he’ll need to be up early for us to both get out, and for me to get him to daycare on time, and myself to work!  More on my thoughts on transitioning back to work in another post…

While I’ve never been a big night owl to begin with, that’s definitely been consistent.  Once we put the little man down for sleep, we eat and clean up from dinner, I’m lucky if I can stay awake for a full Bachelor episode!  Plus, knowing you’ll be up in a few short hours after going to sleep puts a new spin on bedtime.

All in all, our lives have obviously been totally shaken up (in the best way possible), but we’ve managed to keep some semblance of what our life pre-baby used to look like, and I think that makes things seem a little more manageable when they can have the tendency to feel stressful and overwhelming at times. We’ve always known it would be important to us to try to incorporate our new addition into our lives and our routine, instead of uprooting what we’re used to completely, like not leaving the house, not going out to eat, declining invites from friends, not having company, etc.  Of course our routine is now a bit different, and putting Nolan first and making sure he’s our number one priority and fitting a new routine around him is what we do, it has taken some getting used to, but it really feels like our new norm now– our old routine and lifestyle, with some new alterations!

We’re still getting used to this new parenting thing, and some days are damn hard, while others make us feel like we’ve got things down pretty good.  It’s a process and we’ll certainly be learning every day.  For now, we’re getting used to our new version of status quo, and we’re pretty smitten with it!

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Spring Showers

I’ve said it before but sometimes I feel like the longer I go without writing here, the less it feels like it makes sense to come and write here.  And I never wanted this space to feel like an obligation, to feel to me like something I “should” keep up with for any other reason other than I feel the pull to get over here and write and share and connect.  And it’s not that I’ve not felt that lately, it’s just that, holy shit is time flying by, and when I think “oh I have some time to blog tonight!” I think that maybe instead I should be doing other things.  Other things like organizing stuff around here, you know, researching daycares or something because I’m 33 weeks pregnant now and where has the time actually gone?  And if I’m being really honest? Sometimes I would just rather snuggle up on the couch and watch The Bachelor than actually take the time to compose a post of substance.

But yeah.  Anyway, here I am and like I said, 33 weeks pregnant all of a sudden and, woah baby, there’s actually going to be a BABY here in seven weeks, give or take! (#shitsgettingreal) It’s baby central over here after a really sweet shower that my mom and a few girlfriends threw for me last weekend.  Here’s a few pictures that captured the day…

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(I’m not really sure how to insert images in posts to make them look like the actual size they are and not these little thumbnails, but you get the idea.)

My baby shower was so sweet!  Since we aren’t finding out the gender of little Baby M&M, it was a neutral themed shower, with baby animals and yellow and grey colors, with lots of really sweet, thoughtful details from the onesies to decorate, the cake pop rattles, the “Baby Kennedy” sign Matt and I are standing in front of up there, M&M’s for favors, “Team Stache” and “Team Lash” cups (not pictured here, but so fun!), and so many other unique and thoughtful little details.  My mom and girlfriends did such an amazing job and planning everything and it was so evident how much thought and planning went into the day!  Baby M&M is so loved already, and he/she isn’t even here yet!

Oh!  That floral dress that I picked to wear is from Pink Blush!  Have you heard of the website? I had gotten a handful of items there before at the beginning of my pregnancy, and had my eye on some dresses leading up to my shower.  This one that I chose I picked because I felt like it still had a “springy” feel even though it was a chilly March day, and I love all the colors!  The website is really great too, and it’s NOT just maternity!  This dress for example, even though it’s from the maternity section of the website, is totally something I could wear post-baby-in-the-belly, because it has that flowy kind of material and not the typical “I’m pregnant” side ruching that a lot of pregnancy clothes have.  The other thing is, they have a whole other section of their website that is totally non-maternity related, and the clothes are really stylish and fun!

Because I’m such a big fan, I reached out to Pink Blush, and they offered to sponsor a little giveaway on here to a lucky lady (or dude, if a dude is reading this post?, and may be interested in a gift for a gal in his life!).  For the rest of this week, whoever comments here, I’ll add to a drawing and pick a name by Friday night to win a $75 gift card to the website for some spring shopping!  Sound fun?!

I hope that everyone is enjoying their Monday so far, and the start of spring where you live. Today it’s gross and cold and rainy which feels like the exact opposite of an ideal spring in my mind, but here’s hoping for some sunny days ahead!

What’s one of your favorite places to shop for new spring styles?  I miss shopping!  I’ve done pretty much hardly zero shopping over the past several months because I’m only getting bigger and I’m getting kind of sick of maternity stuff to be honest.  Looking forward to the summer and getting back into shape post baby and getting back into some non-maternity styles!  Good thing I have a new go-to website to hone in on some good deals!

Week 24 Baby Update!

Woah!  Week 24 of having this little nugget in my belly!  Time seems to be flying by!

The week the bump finally made its debut!

The week the bump finally made its debut!

Baby Update

M&M is supposedly 8.5 inches, and 1.5 pounds!  Different apps are telling me baby is either the size of an ear of corn, an eggplant, or a large zucchini!

Weight Gain

At my last doctor’s appt. I was up 13 pounds, which my doctor says is perfect.  It’s weird seeing the number creep up each week!

Workouts

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Still been keeping up with my workouts, some weeks I get more in than others, but I’m still aiming for 4-5 workouts a week.  I’ve been taking a prenatal yoga class about once a week, and keeping up with strength training and some other pregnancy DVD’s that I’m looking forward to trying that I have on hold at the library.

Pregnancy Eats

Things I’ve been into lately: orange juice, bagels, apples with peanut butter, oranges/clementines, and Eggo waffles!  Also, chocolate, which I’ve always loved, and the affinity has only gotten stronger in pregnancy!

Symptoms

For the past couple weeks I’ve started having what I think is that round ligament pain I read about on these pregnancy websites?  Things in my lower pelvis just feel sort of “heavy”… and while I don’t really have “pain” per say, I feel a little uncomfy and sort of crampy at times. Oh, and M&M is definitely pressing on my bladder!  I’m constantly feeling the need to pee, and I feel like it’s URGENT!, and then I get to the bathroom, and I hardly have to go!  Weird.  Other than that, no other symptoms really!

Sleep

Still not awesome, but getting a little better.  I’m a back or tummy sleeper and since I’m supposed to avoid those two positions, it’s tough.  I’ve never been one to sleep on my side, so getting used to that is hard.  I’ve been using a pillow between my legs to see if that helps, and it’s a toss up.  I hear mixed reviews on the Snoogle- some people love and swear by it!  I’m not sure I have enough room in the bed for one!  With me, and Matt, and Charlie… then a huge body pillow?!  I’m not so sure that’ll work too well.

Looking Forward To…

Rugs upstairs!  Matt and my Stepdad worked on the flooring upstairs- in the nursery and our bedroom, in prep for the rugs that we ordered to be installed.  Right now we’re living on subflooring (you can see that in the picture above!), anxiously awaiting next week when the rugs come in!  Then, I’m looking forward to decorating the nursery more!  We don’t have any furniture yet, but I’ve been scouring Etsy and some other online shops for artwork and different ideas for nursery decor!  I’m excited to decorate!

Purchases

My mom and I went to Destination Maternity and I got a few pairs of jeans, some leggings, and workout capris.  Now that I’ve turned the pregnancy jean corner, I’m not sure I’ll ever want to go back?!  They’re so comfy!

Feeling…

Excited still.  A little nervous about figuring out maternity leave, and going back to work after that, but we have some time to figure that out, and I know it will all work out.

Movement

TONS!  M&M moves around like crazy!  A lot in the morning, especially if I workout and haven’t eaten yet.  Almost like baby is all, “Mom!  Hello?!  Food?  Now?”  I also feel him/her a lot mid-afternoon, evenings when I get home and I’m cooking dinner, and lying in bed before going to sleep.  I think when I’m hungry, M&M definitely moves more!  Love that Matt can feel the kicks and “pops” too, and we can see them sometimes which is creepy fun!

Anything Else

Not really!  Oh, I’ve been playing music for M&M.  I got Belly Buds for Christmas, so I like to play music on my phone and have a splitter for my headphones where I can listen at the same time as M&M!  I’ve been trying to play a few songs regularly because I’ve read that babies remember what they hear by now, and often the music we play now will soothe them once they’re born!  Lots of Joshua Radin, Bon Iver, and Van Morrison are in the rotation!

Halfway there!

Hello.

It’s me.

Heh, I couldn’t help it.  A song I was really digging at first has now, like all new songs, gotten overplayed on all the radio stations and I’m kind of sick of it!

How was your holiday?  We traveled to PA for Christmas this year, and it was a good trip, and it was also 70 degrees on Christmas?!  What in the hell…?!

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So I’m now over 20 weeks pregnant, and officially halfway there!  That seems so crazy!  The past five months have flown by!

I’m not necessarily planning on doing weekly updates here (obviously- clearly I haven’t started that from the get go), but I did want to document the halfway mark of my pregnancy and do a little update, similar to some I have followed like Sarah’s and Julie’s.

Baby Update

Baby (or M&M as we’re calling him or her) is the size of a banana!  Or, an endive!  Supposedly M&M is 10 inches and about 10.6 oz.

Weight Gain

At my 18 week Doctor’s appt., I had gained six pounds.  Two and a half weeks later and with the holidays, my home scale says I’m up a total of ten pounds.  So I’d say somewhere in the middle there.

Workouts

I’ve been continuing to workout throughout my pregnancy.  I’ve cut back on running a bit, mostly because of the cold weather and Daylight Savings and the fact that it’s so damn dark when I get home, and pretty dark and cold first thing.  I’ve been continuing with some cardio, but more sticking to strength training, and started taking a prenatal yoga class.  Where pre-pregnancy I worked out 5-6 days a week, now I’m doing about 4-5.

Pregnancy Eats

Thanks to the holidays and treats all over everywhere, my snacking hasn’t been very healthy.  My meals have been pretty good, but lots of cookies, and treats, and candy mixed in there.  I also don’t feel like I’ve been getting enough fruits and veggies the past couple of weeks, but a lot of that is due to travel, and the holidays, and laziness before the holidays.  I’ve turned over a new leaf this week, and getting back on track with clean eating (for the most part), but still allowing for some treats, because who am I to deny M&M a little treat?

I’ve been really fortunate in that I haven’t really had any food aversions, not since just a couple in the first trimester when there was a period of a couple weeks where I was wanting all things white, and carby!  Rice pilaf and macaroni and bread and saltines were go-to’s.  I wasn’t feeling chicken for a stint there, or fish, really any meat for a couple weeks, but everything is back to normal now.  I did have a little morning sickness, but was lucky- never yacked, and it really only lasted six weeks or so.  Now I’m back to normal and feeling good!

Symptoms

Not a whole lot, thankfully!  I’m feeling really good.  Less tired than several weeks ago, when come 7:30PM, I’d be dozing on the couch and not able to make it through one Netflix show (just recently got hooked on Walking Dead– NEVER thought that show would be up my ally but totally addicted).

My back has been aching a bit.  I’ve always had a bit of a back “thing,” over the years, precipitated by nothing out of the ordinary.  I could run a half marathon one day and it’s totally fine, and be doing cardio the next and it hurts for weeks.  Stretching and strength training usually help, but sometimes not.  Lately it’s been sore again, and I’m nervous that as I continue to put on weight, it might only get worse?  Trying to stick with exercise, stretching, and yoga to keep it feeling okay.

I’m currently in the awkward stage of “showing,” where I haven’t exactly popped yet, and it’s more of a “pregnant? or awkward?” situation.  Like, “has she had too many cookies?” or, “is she?”  It’s a weird stage for me.  People that know me can kind of sort of tell, but beyond that, it’s not really noticeable, and if I weren’t pregnant, my belly right now just sorta feels like… like I’m letting myself go.  I’m not in the stage that I’m excited to show off my bump with cute pregnancy clothes, more in the looking for flowy, loose tops that conceal the weirdness stage right now.  I’m just trying to go with it, and embrace the fact that this period is all normal, and a sign that my little M&M is growing bigger each day.

Sleep

Hasn’t been so awesome over the last several weeks.  I can still sleep comfortably for the most part, and still on my tummy, but I’ve been waking up pretty regularly each night around 2 or 3AM, and I’m awake for a good hour or so, my mind going and going.  Also, I’ve been having some crazy dreams!

Looking Forward To…

“Popping” and there being no question that there really is a baby in there and not just extra treats!

Purchases

I bought a few items of maternity clothing from Gap and Pink Blush Maternity on Black Friday that I’ll probably be able to bust out soon.  I’ve still been wearing all my regular clothes; some skinny jeans I just started wearing a belly band with.  Maternity clothes are SO expensive, just because they’re called “maternity?”  So I’m trying to pick a few essential things, a few fun things, and I’m fortunate that a good friend handed over a whole big bin of clothes for me to borrow, and, during the week I’m in scrubs for work, so it’s really just the weekends that I need to figure out clothes for!

Feeling…

Excited!  And just still in awe.  I can’t believe I’m actually growing a little human that will be here in the spring!

Movement

Yes!  Felt M&M move for the first time at week 19 and it was so exciting!  People kept telling me it feels like “flutters,” but I experienced it more like a “flick” or tap from the inside!  Kind of similar to popcorn in there!  I love feeling him or her move- it happens when I’m just hanging out relaxing.  Matt got to feel it (and I saw it!) for the first time this past week and that was so cool!

Anything Else

Started a registry the other day.  We walked in Babies R Us and promptly walked right out- so overwhelming in there!  Thankfully I have girlfriends who have recently registered to help in that department.  I’m also starting to look into childbirth classes and a breast-feeding class.

Did I mention how surreal this still all feels?!

Anyone else been pregnant or currently preggo and have any fun tidbits to share?

Tuesday Treats… the Paris Edition

I traveled to Paris just about two weeks ago now, and so many moments during my trip I found myself taking deep breaths, and really intentionally trying to take it all in, soak it all up, live truly in that moment.  My mind would wander, and I’d consciously redirect myself and remind myself that you’re in Paris; live and be in this moment, right here, right now.

I so enjoyed my trip.  The cafés, the architecture, the much less fast pace life in Paris compared to the States, specifically the East Coast, the baguettes, the macarons, the eclairs, the champagne, and wine, and new beers.  The Eiffel Tower.  Oh how I fell in love with the Eiffel Tower.  Notre Dame.  Visting Ernest Hemingway’s haunts.  Versailles.  Speaking French again.  Cappuccinos.  Croissants.  Oh my goodness, the croissants.

The whole entire trip was a treat; it truly was.  Here are just a handful of pictures and I promise to write more soon.

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Champagne on the flight over…

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Kir Royale. My new favorite drink!

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Notre Dame. The Seine. Le sigh…

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Relaxing on the lawn after biking around Versailles.

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Heaven.

Love.

Love.

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Balconies for days…

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I was obsessed with finding the best macaron. Lemon- loved the lemon.

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Found it!

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My idea of a perfect day.

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So many cafés…

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One of Hemingway’s favorites…(mine too!).

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I will always remember my morning run by the Eiffel Tower. Perfection.

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Cheers!

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What did you treat yourself to recently?  Linking up with Becky on today’s post of treats!

Believe Nothing

Agrees-With-Your-Own-ReasonI’m actually not even sure that this quote above is from Buddha.  Actually, I’m pretty sure it’s not from Buddha, which, kind of just defines the quote itself right?

From Buddha himself or not, I love this quote.  Because isn’t it true, that we’re kind of programmed in a way to be naive about certain things?  We read articles in magazines and pick up books off shelves at Barnes & Noble, and we believe what we are reading to be true.  We believe it to be true, especially if it resonates with us.

Say you’re trying to lose weight, and you hear a podcast on the “seven best diet tricks to shed those pounds!”  You’re pretty likely bound to believe that these tricks must be legit, but how do we really know?

I have a few co-workers who are often complaining about their weight, and this one co-worker perpetually is telling them that “carbs are bad!” and “you can’t eat a bagel, what are you thinking?!,” and these poor co-workers of mine who are trying to lose weight, they take this other co-worker’s advice as The Total Truth.  But come on.  Carbs aren’t the devil.  Bagels once in a while aren’t going to hinder your weight loss goals.  This is common sense, right?

I just find it interesting how, so often when we are looking for something, seeking out a tiny little nugget of advice or input, it can be so easy to take whatever we hear to be true.  Really, are you giving up the carbs because you know it to be the key to your success?  Does it agree with your own common sense?  With your own reason?

If it doesn’t- if something someone says or something you read somewhere feels a little off? Then you have every right to go ahead and say “screw it.”

Because the bottom line is, you don’t have to live by anyone else’s rules but your own.  At the end of the day, you need to be happy with your choices, and only you can know what the best choices for you are.  If it doesn’t feel right, if it doesn’t agree with your own reason, then who cares what expert (or co-worker!) said it.  Screw it.  Do you.  Follow your gut.  Go with what feels right.  Eat the bagel if you want to, and know that you aren’t doing a damn thing wrong when you do.

Do things that correlate with what you believe, and don’t feel like you have to follow anyone else’s “sage” advice.  At the end of the day, don’t you want to be comfortable in your own skin, with the choices that you’ve made, knowing you made decisions based on your own intuition and gut feeling?

(I’m fully aware that you may read this and very well say “screw this!” and move along. And thats the whole point, really.  (Not for you to say screw it and leave my blog forever.), but to take things with a grain of salt- if they speak to you and resonate with you, then roll with it.  If not so much, then that’s okay too.  It’s all about being true to you, and following your own inner voice, which, admittedly, can be difficult sometimes.)

 

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”

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“Sometimes when I was starting a new story and I could not get it going, I would sit in front of the fire and squeeze the peel of the little oranges into the edge of the flame and watch the sputter of blue that they made. I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, “Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” So finally I would write one true sentence, and then go on from there. It was easy then because there was always one true sentence that I knew or had seen or had heard someone say. If I started to write elaborately, or like someone introducing or presenting something, I found that I could cut that scrollwork or ornament out and throw it away and start with the first true simple declarative sentence I had written.”- Ernest Hemingway

Write one true sentence.

Paris is always a good idea.

…Or so I’ve heard.

Lately, while I have been away from this blog of mine and struggling with a little bit of writer’s block, I have been spending my time devouring everything to do with Paris.

My fascination with Paris started several years ago.  Paris, more than just a geographical location and the capital of France, always seems greater than that, doesn’t it?  Paris is seductive, and whimsical.  Paris, a destination I’ve envisioned in day dreams while spending an afternoon in a coffee shop, is where I’ve wondered, hoped, wished, that one day, I may find the perfect time and circumstance to travel to.

This coming May is that time, and I am so over the moon excited.

There’s the kind of excitement where you just can’t contain yourself, right?  You tell anyone that will listen that you’re so excited! about this thing.  You talk to your best friend about it, you call your mom, you tell the random person in line at CVS about your excitement; you are so excited about this thing that this thing is all you are talking about all of the time to all of the people!

And then there’s another type of excitement, or at least this is my version and experience currently.  I’m truly ecstatic about this one week adventure that I’m taking at the end of May with my Aunt this coming spring, but I’m keeping it all bottled up.  The excitement is there (it’s so very there!), it’s inside me and I’m so thrilled and I’m thinking and dreaming and reading and pinning my evening’s away, but I’ve been keeping it to myself.  I’m almost so excited, that I’m nervous if I let the cap off of my bottled up excitement, I’ll never be able to contain myself!

Have you ever experienced this version of excitement?

So.  I’m going to Paris.  Oh my goodness!  The Universe has given me this amazing opportunity to spend a week away in this wonderful destination that has been but a mere passing thought of “what if?” for years.  And I’ve been drowning myself in all things Paris ever since we made our reservations.

The Paris Wife was a wonderful novel which I got totally sucked into.  From there, I’ve formed a somewhat alarming obsession with Ernest Hemingway, whose literary works I can’t seem to get enough of.  I recently read A Moveable Feast which I enjoyed quite a bit, and from there I spend my evenings googling the life of Ernest Hemingway, his “spots” in Paris, where he ate and drank and spent his time writing.

Then, of course there’s the first Sex and the City movie from a while back, which I’ve always been in love with, as evidenced by the summer several years back when I became enthralled with French rap music.

There’s Julia child who I’ve always been captured by, her book My Life in France, in a box waiting to be unpacked sitting on my bookshelf.

I have a long list of books and movies that I’m dying to binge on.  I want to soak up Paris even before I go to Paris!

I’m so, so excited.  My version of excited.

Paris is always a good idea.  That’s one of the truest sentences I’ve heard lately.  Thank you, Mr. Hemingway.

Tell me, have you traveled to Paris, or another part of France?  Do you have any movie, book, or travel suggestions to help feed my bottled up excitement?

The Anatomy of a Funk

I think January on the whole wasn’t my favorite.  Snow on top of more snow, not very much sunlight at all, gloomy days, bitter temperatures, the whole month just wasn’t really my jam. Feeling in a bit of a funk during the best conditions (for me that might look like a crisp fall day, a sunny, patio sitting kind of afternoon, or a breezy spring day), well feeling in a bit of a funk under those conditions is bad enough, but when you’re not feeling your usual sense of calm, kind of feeling off for no real pin-pointable reason, feeling that way in the dead of winter?  Well that just feels like a double whammy, you know what I’m saying?

Something has felt a little bit off.  I don’t have a big story or reason why I’m feeling funk-ish; I don’t have a reason to pin it all down to, it just feels like a general sense of… “blah,” that was hanging around last month.

Anyone else?

I also realize that some people have some serious things going on, serious reasons for a funk, or a case of the sads, or really do have a diagnosed SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).  Sometimes I think of this and I know my funk pales in comparison, but I guess we all are dealing with… something, right?  Big or small, we all have something on our plates, and we’re all just trying to do our best.

I think it’s important during these kind of funky times to be in the moment, remind ourselves that it’s okay to feel not awesome and not totally on point and on our game all of the time, because those are some high expectations to have and to put on ourselves!  I also try not to totally wallow in the throws of a funk for too long.  I tried to kind of wrap my mind around what I was feeling, and when I couldn’t really attribute my blank mood to anything in particular, I thought of what I could do to kind of get myself out of the funk.

  • Exercise- This one usually always helps me to feel in a good mood, gives me more energy, good endorphins and all that goodness.  Some days I just wasn’t feeling it, so I went a little easier with myself and did yoga instead of something more intense, or considered the shoveling as my workout. Holy hell, all the shoveling.
  • Reading- Getting drawn into a good book is something that helps to distract the mind, and I enjoy getting sucked into a good story.  Using our imaginations can help to get us out of our own heads for a while, and I like how reading a novel can take us to a whole new place.
  • TV- Probably not the best choice of distractions, but if I’m being real and honest I will tell you that I enjoy shutting my mind off and watching TV for a while.  My newest favorite- Love, Lust, or Run- Stacy London’s new show on TLC.  Kind of What Not to Wear-ish, but shorter and without Clinton which is a bummer for me.  I love Clinton!
  • Writing letters- Like real, handwritten notes and cards.  I’m getting back into corresponding with an old friend, snail mail style, and I just love writing and receiving notes in the mail.
  • Cleaning & organizing- For some, doing this one might not be what you’d go to when in a funk, but lately I’ve been really excited about keeping our new home clean and organized, decorating and thinking of new ways to make our home feel even more like “us.”
  • Pinterest- It helps with the decorating ideas!  And recipe planning.  And fashion inspiration.  And hair!  I could look at hairstyles for hours on end.
  • Getting a new hairdo- I’m making an appointment for next week for a little spruce up of my do’.  That always makes me feel in a good mood!
  • Helping others- This one is in the works.  I’m looking for some opportunities to do some more volunteering.  I’m part of a volunteering organization in Boston, but haven’t really delved into it all too much.  I’ve been wanting to find a local soup kitchen or food pantry to volunteer some time at, so I’m looking into that.  Back a few years ago, I used to visit with an elderly woman in my town, something setup through the Council on Aging I think, and it was something I enjoyed a lot.  I’d like to see if something similar exists in our new community, or even a local nursing home where I could go and visit with the residents there.  I have always enjoyed spending time with the elderly.

So, those are some of my get-out-the-funk go-to’s I’ve been working on lately.  I’m feeling a bit better, it being February and a shorter month, closer to some warmer weather, already seeing some more daylight. I’m looking forward to the weeks ahead as I have some plans with friends that I’m looking forward to, a long weekend getaway to see some friends and my God children, and a few other exciting things in the works.

How about you?  Have you had a case of the Januaries?  What do you do to get out of a funk?

Here’s a couple good articles I found that touch on the subject..

How to correct your mind to get out of a funk

10 tips to beat the blues in winter

Oh, it’s not Friday?

It’s almost Friday!

keep-calm-it-s-almost-the-weekend-2

Has anyone else found this week to be particularly draggy?  In my head I’ve been thinking it was one day ahead all week, even waking up this morning pumped for Friday and the weekend, and quickly realizing I was a little off base.

Good news is that the stress from last week has subsided a bit!  That’s actually really good news, and suffice it to say that it’s not so bad to replace last week’s stress of “what ifs” in relation to home buying and inspections with this week’s stresses of “where in the holy hell are we going to find room for all these boxes that we have to pack?!”

So yeah, progress has been made on that front, and it’s exciting progress and seemingly good progress, but progress that I’m still nervous to really shout from the rooftops and fully celebrate just yet until the deal is fully closed, if you know what I’m saying.  So, as my mom says, “film at 11” on that.

(Does anyone else use that phrase?  We always say it and I guess I have just assumed that people know what it means, but maybe it’s just a thing with my family?  You say: “so you’re going to take your first Zumba class tonight?,” and I say, “yeah, we’ll see how that goes, film at 11.”  It just kind of means, you know, “fill you in later.”  Like the 11 o’clock news, you follow me?  Anyone?)

So there’s that.  I guess I don’t have too much more to write tonight but I wanted to say thank you to all of you who are reading and have commented and emailed me as I’ve gotten back into the swing of things with writing on a blog again.  I kind of forgot how much I missed the practice of blogging and writing, and I’ve been really enjoying it.  Writing, thinking of ideas of what to post about, catching up with old friends and discovering new blogs.

For now, thank you- and here’s to a good evening and a happy Friday!

What’s been one of the happiest moments you’ve had this week?