Look at me…two weeks in a row of a Thursday Three. It’s almost like a trend or something.
1. Balance is key. We’ve practically been living in a season of survival the past few months. Only in the past week or two have we started to reintroduce exercising, playing music, and making space for individual creativity. So here I am, sitting in a coffee shop while writing my thoughts–totally baby-free. As a couple and as a family, we’re asking the question of how to find balance in our lives and somehow make it work for everybody. It requires some planning and some sacrifice, but it seems to be worth it in the end. If you have tips and systems that have worked well for you, I’d definitely be interested in hearing them.
2. My phone is overloaded with pictures of my kid. (So much for balance, eh?) I know I’m biased, but I think he’s pretty stinking cute. To be honest, I haven’t figured out what I think about sharing countless photos on the internet (of him or me, really). Maybe one here or there. Occasionally, I send some photos of him in a text to people I think might want to see the latest facial expression or outfit he’s rocking. Like everything, I’m overthinking it and questioning how much I want him to be all over the internet. I don’t know that there’s a right or wrong answer, but I do think it’s worth considering what we are putting online and what the long-term impact might be. Ugh. The world is crazy and the future of the internet is a mystery to me. I know I can’t protect him from everything, but I do have some responsibility as a parent to look out for him and his well-being. So, please humor me while I think it over and know that the photos might be sparse in the meantime. (But what the heck? I can’t add a photo from my week without including him because he’s in ALL the photos…so here you go, a week’s worth all at once).
3. We need each other. I’ve heard and read so many thoughts and feelings this past week regarding the election and the actions that have followed. Frankly, it’s hard to sort through it all. Last week, all I could say was that kindness was the first place I planned to start. I think the thing I’ve found to be true in it all is how much we need to support and love one another as a community, a city, a state, and a country. There’s so much that has already been said on the internet, and I don’t want to pretend I have something big or profound to add. I just think that at the bottom of it all, we each want love and support. We want someone to say, “I’m for you and I’m with you.” I think that means seeing a need amongst the people around you and filling it. It can mean showing up, even without being asked. It means prayer, money, food, time, and energy given to someone else or for someone else. As much as living in isolation or only surrounded by those who think and feel the exact same as we do sounds nice (and can have its place from time to time), the strength and mutual respect/understanding that can be gained by recognizing that we need each other is invaluable.
This is just going to have to be a whopper of a post because it has been SO LONG since I’ve written a Thursday Three. But let’s face it, I’m still too lazy to think up five things for a Friday Five. So, Thursday Three it is. Let’s catch up on the big things from the last few months, shall we?
1. We had a kid. A cute, kicking, crying, smiling kid is now under our constant care and responsibility. Poor thing. We’re two months in, and so far we all seem to love each other a whole lot. Granted, he loves his cloud mobile hanging over the changing table more than anything else in the world, but we like to pretend he is keen on us as well. We sure are smitten.
2. We released an album. It’s perfectly normal to release your biggest creative endeavor the same month as having a baby, right? Hold the applause because the reality is, most of it was done months ago, but it was time to finally put on the finishing touches and send it out into the world. So we did. You (and your mom and whoever else is interested) are more than welcome to listen to it and even download it for free (or pay what you want…but mostly, we want people to hear it even more than we want them to pay for it).
3. Kindness is key. In the past few months we have been the recipient of so much love and kindness, and I am incredibly grateful. My hope is to also spread kindness to those around me, whether in return for the kindness I’ve received or just out of love and grace. I’ll be honest, it’s hard to write something without responding to the election results and the feelings of everyone around me. There’s a lot going on, and it’s difficult to know what to do. But I think we all know how to be kind and can start there. That’s my plan at least.
Is it Thursday, really? I feel like the last week has been a blur, and the days are all merging together. Winter seems to do that to a person, especially when you’re stuck indoors. This weekend promises some sort of wintry mix, and around here that means the town is about to shut down. Guess we’ll just have to set up camp in the living room and hang on to our flashlights until the storm passes.
1. Saturday mornings are my favorite. I’m sure people have reasons to wake up and go do things on Saturdays, but I much prefer a slow start, breakfast on the porch (weather permitting), and a quiet beginning to the day.
2. Keep in contact with your loved ones. Sometimes we remember what it was like to be really cold and then gloat a little that we aren’t so cold anymore. I know this next weekend we’ll see some winter conditions, but it’s just for a weekend, not for months on end. Considering our lovely Saturday morning, it seemed only right to share a piece of our life with my mom as well as a little friendly “encouragement” considering what she was up against. It’s the perfect way to tell someone you’re thinking of them.
3. Being sick is the worst. I go on and on about not having expectationsand looking at life more realistically…and then I go and get sick, causing me to cancel every plan and commitment of the week. I thought I had it covered by just not making plans more than a few weeks out. Wrong again. Let’s just take it one day at a time I guess. Some sort of bug hit me on Saturday night and just won’t quit. I won’t share any photos or my symptoms (you’re welcome), but will take your pity, prayers, and Netflix recommendations.
What a week it has been. Anybody with me? Nothing too crazy, but it takes thought and intention to keep from covering yourself in blankets on the couch all day. Oh, winter.
1. Hug a kid. I should probably preface this by saying it’d be good to actually know this kid and maybe even have permission from their parents if necessary. But past that, I highly recommend it. They are usually all for it and this time of year the puffy coats that make them like little walking teddy bears are simply adorable. Is there a point to this hug? Just to show a little love and remind you where the world is headed–the future is definitely not all bad.
2. Take a walk. I know, it’s cold outside. Even here in North Carolina we’re having to take our coats out finally and wear a few layers. I’m not really a fan of winter, but I am a big fan of walking. When it’s decent outside, you’ll find me roaming the many trails nearby or the sidewalks downtown. When it is cold, watch out–I’m power walking through the mall. Sounds silly, but I can’t keep cooped up all winter long and the mall doesn’t require any sort of membership or serious preparation to show up. Plus, my favorite part about walking is going with a friend and talking while we walk, instead of going somewhere to sit still and pay for food or coffee.
3. Appreciate what you see on a daily basis. We can go through so much of our day seeing the same thing all of the time and ignore it. Last night, on a walk, the hubby wanted a quick picture of me with Krispy Kreme (but failed to follow it up by buying a donut). Very random, but the point was not our undying love for fresh & hot donuts, but a corner of our neighborhood we so regularly walk by, in a town we moved to three and a half years ago, where we have grown so much.
You know what I find really annoying on blogs? When almost every post starts with the writer talking about how much they’ve neglected posting as often as they would like to and promise to get back in the swing of things soon. It distracts from the actual content of the post itself and frankly just gets old to read. Soo…I won’t do that to you. I know, isn’t that so sweet of me? I’ll just, uh, leave the meaning of this paragraph up to your own interpretation.
1. It’s what time of year? Every time I see something Christmas-y online or someone mentions Christmas, it seems like it must be a long way off or a long time ago. When it’s 70 degrees outside (seriously, my windows are open), it’s hard to imagine Christmas being a mere week away. I’m not sure if it is the weather or the blur of events this past year, but it all seems strange and out of place. Or maybe it’s just this guy who insisted we get a photo during dinner.
2. Do you ever have a practically perfect day? Because for me, Saturday came pretty close. At the last minute someone unexpectedly offered to cover for me at work and suddenly the day was wide open. It was the perfect mix of rest and recreation. After a slow morning, we went on a ten-mile bike ride, then went straight to rock climbing for an hour, and then came home to get ready for a night on the town with some dear friends for dinner, dessert, and a show. I enjoyed every element of a day well-spent.
3. Do you know what the best part about a trip is?Planning it. I think it is safe to say that I love to travel, but maybe if we get to the root of it, I really love to plan and dream. Studies show that the anticipation of a trip gives a big boost in happiness. Well, this year’s Christmas presents from family (yeah, I know it’s early, but they couldn’t keep it a secret) happen to include a few trips so my planning mode is in full effect.
Well lookie here…it’s Thursday again! I’ve got a random list of things to say, so here it goes.
1. Hot chocolate goes with everything. Mondays are our days “off” but more often than not end up being catch-up work days or accomplish-this-thing-that-needs-to-get-done-anyway days. This Monday was no different, but at one point I looked up and realized how cute our matching computers and hot cocoas looked together. As someone who eats chocolate daily in one form or another, I’m pretty thrilled that we’re back to the time of the year when it’s normal to drink hot chocolate in the middle of the day.
2. My shortcomings seem all too clear right now. I am behind on everything from emails and responses to bills and birthday cards. I never fall asleep easily and my mornings are always rough. I’m almost always late no matter how hard I try. Social media makes me anxious, but I check it all too frequently. There’s distance in some of my friendships that I want to better invest in. I eat cereal for at least half of my meals each week and rarely cook. I feel like I have all of these glaring errors or awkward tendencies that I don’t know how to suppress, yet don’t we all? Maybe yours aren’t the same as mine, but I think we get into these bad hair days or “I have nothing to wear” days that leave us feeling self-conscious and unworthy. But we’re all just trying to hold it together. Social media and online identities make it easier to hide behind personas and filters, but we’ve all got our faults and failures. Having flaws doesn’t make you less of a person, it’s part of being a person. None of us have it all together or totally figured out, so don’t let anyone fool you.
3. Things are beyond our control. We had plans for this week that fell through and frankly, we were both way more disappointed than we should have been about it (umm hello, the plans involved getting free food, so yeah, we wanted that). In the end, it wasn’t a huge deal, but just felt like a reminder (or slap in the face) that so much of life is way beyond our control. We can make plans and have hope, but at the end of the day, there’s only so much you can do.
It’s been an entire week. I like writing a few things and posting them here throughout the week to shake it up, but this was just the week with which I never seemed to catch up. A mix of work, events, and friends took over instead. So to keep it interesting, let’s make this the Thursday Three of three word phrases.
1. We did it. Of the several things I’ve been working on lately, one of them just came to a close this past weekend. I got the honor and privilege to help coordinate and emcee the annual women’s event at our church. It’s been a crazy season, and I was a little worried that I wouldn’t be able to do a good job or pull it together. But thankfully, I had tons of support and a lot of grace. With two days, 130-ish women, and a great team of people, it was a wonderful weekend, and I’m so glad I got to be a part of it.
2. Write it out. I write all the time. Sometimes I wish this blog was a better reflection of all of my writing, but the truth is, I have several projects that are in process still or submitted to some random publication. Believe it or not, the Thursday Three isn’t my favorite of all of these pieces…it’s just the one that haunts me until I scramble to get it done every week. That said, I am so grateful for opportunities and prompts to write. It’s such a wonderful way to share life with people, and it’s something that makes me feel alive. Even though it takes dedication and effort, it’s worth it in order to have a creative outlet that I can share with others.
3. Wait and see. Do you ever feel like there’s a phrase or word that has been put into your heart? Right now, my phrase is simply wait and see. I don’t know what’s around the bend for me or for us, but I’m hopeful. Wait and see doesn’t mean rushed or anxious. I don’t have the answers or the plans or even much control. So all I can do now, in the best possible way and with sparkles in my eyes, is wait and see.