Friday Favorites

In this season of writing little and living lots, I realize that I’ve changed. Perhaps more than I even fully appreciate yet. But haven’t we all?

When I first began blogging, I was fresh out of college at the mature age of 20 and immersed in my first teaching job. I. HAD. NO. CLUE. WHAT. I. WAS. DOING. But I did it all with great gusto. I mean, Instagram wasn’t a thing yet, and Ipads were just starting to make a splash. But we were all diehard Facebookers, and I do believe that Crossfit was gaining momentum. IMG_0193

For the love…

I feel like an old woman when I think back to the earnestness with which I dreamed big dreams and loved big loves. And it’s not that I’m no longer a dreamer or a passionate woman, but the constraints of more responsibilities plus a dollop of life experience has perhaps moderated my undeniable urge to jump over the proverbial cliff with all the trends. Otherwise, I might be embarrasing my postpartum-self right now in high-waisted jeans that do NOT flatter the butt while sporting a crop top in some color resembling our great-grandparents’ furniture. If you are pulling off that current “in” look, hats off to you. It’s just not me. And my 30-year-old self is unduly content finding my own way in the fashion world. danielle-macinnes-222441-unsplash

And while I’m sure I will have a hearty laugh reading this post in another 10 years, I’m both okay with that and ready to embrace the fact that there is much beauty and strength in the transcribing of the transformation. So, for your Friday amusement, 7 new favorites of the past decade.

First, let’s just get this one out of the way, so we can all move on. COLD. BREW. HAPPENED. Defined as the product that results from coarse ground coffee beans releasing all their tasty goodness in cold water over a long period of time without all the acid that traditionally brewed coffee contains. This delectable treat poses as better for your gut and definitely keeps me from needing to microwave my cup over and over again while I change diapers, make breakfast, find Abby’s bear, rescue my furniture from the hurricane that is Micah. I mean, what’s not to love?

Second, let’s chat about minimalism. I’m sure all of our moves have enforced this concept, but I also think that soul shifts along the way contributed. If you haven’t read Marie Kondo’s book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,”  then I would recommend it, as her words sparked something deep inside of me. The same spark that made me vehemently paint nearly ever surface of our home white. And donate more from our packed boxes than I kept. Read these three quotes once, and then close your eyes and savor each one again:

The space in which we live should be for the person we are becoming now, not for the person we were in the past.

The best way to choose what to keep and what to throw away is to take each item in one’s hand and ask: “Does this spark joy?” If it does, keep it. If not, dispose of it. This is not only the simplest but also the most accurate yardstick by which to judge.

Imagine what it would be like to have a bookshelf filled only with books that you really love. Isn’t that image spellbinding? For someone who loves books, what greater happiness could there be?

lauren-mancke-60547-unsplashFor my third favorite (perhaps somewhat correlated) thing, anyone else find that their tastes in art radically change? And I’m not talking about the minor metamorphoses that rooms regularly undergo when pillows are replaced or a new favorite letterboard quote found. Rather, I mean a complete 180 in style preferences. I have some very talented and sophisticated friends that have all taught me over the past 10 years the beauty of original paintings, heirloom rugs, photography that tells a story: meaningful art, you might say. Thanks to my budget, my home has very few of all of the above, but that’s not the point, y’all. The point is that I’m done buying canvases from Target just for the sake of putting something on the wall. Not to mention, I like my white walls. AND, I buy all the other things from Target. So there’s also that.

Fourth, I don’t hesitate anymore to talk about hush hush topics and VALUE the transparency and honesty surrounding them. Sex and intimacy definitely make that list. Postpartum mood disorders are high up. Living life in a circle of dear friends that don’t all agree on the same things, believe the same things, or value the same priorities is vitally important to me. Life is richer for these differences. And I’m constantly learning. And loving. And learning to love more.

Fifth, because I would lack that honesty I just mentioned if I omitted this favorite, I most definitely went from an “uninterested-occasional-wine-drinker” to a conoisseur of a well-made cocktail. Never sweet. Always with bitters. Herbal gins are lovely, as are well-blended rye mashes. Preferably enjoyed in the company of friends during a late game night or relaxing in bed watching Hulu with David. I still rarely drink out, and I don’t drink often, and I still drink little. But the art of crafting a well-made cocktail definitely makes completing the Whole 30 a lot more difficult. Surprise. Surprise. jacalyn-beales-594326-unsplash.jpg

 

Yoga is not new for most of you, but I was a runner…an “intense” athlete…until life made me slow down. My body was taking a beating on multiple fronts, and I was even on bedrest during some of the infertility treatments. Enter barre workouts…abdominal breathing…and yoga. Now, yoga could easily move from sixth ranking to much higher up on some days. Wednesday mornings I practice at our local rec center, and I find that it gives me time to pray, stretch, and often cry. This is “me” time. I don’t have to worry about walking away from journal writing because one of the Littles needs me. I don’t have to think about the stretches. I can just BE. Mindfully explore the past week’s emotions and the current mornings’ feelings. Because working in women’s health, leading a team of boss babes, mothering daily…these things prompt ALL. THE. BIG. FEELS. And yoga is one of my favorite outlets. This time is nurturing and restoring and sometimes the best emotional detox of my week. I walk out refreshed and ready to be a better wife, mother, friend, and colleague.

Finally, number 7 on my list of favorites today are plants. Okay, I take it back. If you know me, then you know that plants don’t stand a chance of surviving in my house. I keep people alive, folks. Not plants. Not animals. Not all the doodle bugs and lady bugs that Abby is constantly storing away in mason jars to terrify her mother with. People. I digress. After the research of the past 10 years, I love plant-based products. Plain and simple. Research is continuing to show all the damage that chemicals and additives have on our health, so our family has chosen to replace as many things as possible with natural alternatives. My make-up is chemical-free and lovely. Our cleaners are distilled plants. Our foods are as whole and real as often as I can muster the energy to plan, prep, and serve them. Our medicine cabinet and supplement cabinet is filled with distilled plants that have been studied for their benefits in preventative health. Our lotions and baby care items are chosen carefully. In the past year, my two primary businesses are even all about plant-based products. #WinWin there. (See how I snuck an eighth favorite in? #hashtags #forreal)

Anyway, I would love to hear some of your old or new favorites, and, as always, let me know if you have questions or would like to join me on any of my endeavors.

Happy weekend, Friends!

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