I’m not sure whether it’s writer’s block or spring fever (I am out doing ALL THE THINGS) or both, but I haven’t said much here lately. I miss writing in this space, but I’ve also spent a lot of time wondering whether I actually miss it or it’s that I feel I should be spending my time here.

My friends and I have a joke that any time one of us uses that nasty little word “should,” she takes a shot. If they actually held me to this, I’d be drunk most of the day, every day!

In some ways, it’s been a nice break. The time I used to spend blogging has been recently devoted to getting on top of my work, spending time outside, and about a hundred other things. Look! I even created a list, if you’re just that curious!

Instead of blogging, here’s what I’ve been up to:

  • Taking Jax to play dates and birthday parties every weekend, sometimes more than one per weekend. Boy, there are lots of spring babies!
  • Overspending. I think I might have a little problem when it comes to shopping. I’m trying to reign that in and am considering issuing myself a month-long no-spending challenge (except on bills and necessities). If you’re up for the challenge, let’s talk and make it happen!
  • Reading. I’ve always been one to stick my nose in a book as much as I can, but lately I simply NEED to read. I usually spend 15-30 minutes in bed with my Kindle each night. It’s less stimulating than watching Netflix, and my mind doesn’t make to do lists when I’m engrossed in a book.
  • Home improvement projects. So far I’ve repainted all the trim in the living room, plus the basement door and the trim around the back door in the kitchen. I’ve yet to paint the trim in all the other rooms, paint the living room walls, recaulk the bathtub, and various other repairs, although I bought the materials so I’ll be ready the next time the mood strikes!
  • Worrying about what I’m going to write for my upcoming week manning the helm at Postpartum Progress. I’d love to hear your suggestions, if you have any, about what you think moms (and dads) want to hear or need to know about perinatal mood disorders. Or if you had an experience you want to share, let’s talk!
  • Making smoothies.
  • Taking walks. And yes, I’m still doing yoga & still loving it. If you’re local to me and want to meet up for a class, let me know!
  • Hanging out with my new kitten, Gordo. Making sure the dog and the kitty don’t hurt each other.
  • Trying to figure out just how badly I “need” the new patio I got an estimate for (ie, whether it’s worth going into debt for)!
  • Wrapping up my 12-week balance skills/mindfulness class, which was really helpful and inspiring. Again, if you are local to me and interested in the next one this fall, I will gladly hook you up with the info!

That’s about it! I’ll leave you with a pic of Gordo because he’s supercute. If you follow me on Instagram, my apologies for flooding your feed with his face over the past 3 weeks. But come on, how cute is he?!

 

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This is what’s clogging up my brainspace this week:

Take that, Valentine's Day!

Take that, Valentine’s Day!

Another snowstorm’s coming, with up to a foot of snow being discussed at the time of this writing. Must stock junk food. But why? I don’t even eat junk food usually! Something about snow just screams cookies to me. Can you relate?

I’m thinking about journaling again, and really holding myself to spending 5 minutes every single day writing down my thoughts and feelings in an effort to help me sort them out. But of course I worry about privacy issues. I’ve had my journals read by people I trusted, and it was somewhat traumatic. So today I found myself googling “privacy issues with journaling” and reading about some options for keeing my thoughts private. Something that resonated with me (because I’m guilty of this) was advice that if you’re censoring yourself in your writing because you’re afraid of who may read it, you’re just wasting your time and not getting the full effect of journaling. Do you journal? If so, is privacy a concern?

My dad is having heart surgery this week. I plan to take the day off from work and hang at the hospital with my mom, keeping her company and keeping things light as we wait for updates. But that snowstorm is supposed to happen on the same day, and since schools will likely be cancelled, I think my new plan will consist of maintaining my sanity at home with an energetic 4-year-old while waiting for updates from my mom, also while attempting to complete a full day’s work from home. Working from home is hard most times, although sometimes we nail it. I wrestle with balancing my work with my son’s constant requests to play, and there is often a lot of guilt that comes along with telling him I can’t play until I get some things done. It will be a challenging day, to say the least. If you know any snow dances–the kind that would push this storm far off the coast, perhaps–please do them now! I’m also accepting thoughts & prayers for my dad and any work-from-home advice you’ve got!

Valentine’s Day. Sigh. Someone very important to me died on the night of February 13th, ten years ago this year. I can’t help but associate the day with my grief. His death triggered my anxiety in a way I’d never experienced it before. I remember that Valentine’s Day like it happened yesterday. I sat in a Japanese steakhouse, picking at my sushi, pretending to be OK as I celebrated my first Valentine’s Day with my now-husband. I secretly didn’t want to be there, which made me feel badly. I wanted to be with my family, or alone to cry and grieve. That was the first time Valentine’s Day felt fake to me, and I can’t help but carry that with me all these years later. There’s too much pressure. I have a list of people I’d wanted to buy or make things for, but it’s already Tuesday and I’m out of time. I sure hope Valentine’s tweets instead of treats are acceptable! And I’d like to find time to grab some new Legos for Jax for his special treat, in lieu of candy, since his life revolves around Legos right now. I still have to help Jax write out one set of valentines for his pre-K class (their party is tomorrow) and one set for his daycare class (their party is Friday), and I have to provide healthy snacks for both…on top of all the other things I have to do this week! This is only my first year with a kid–one child!–in school. I don’t know how parents juggle it all!

I feel like if I make it to Saturday without losing my mind, I owe myself the biggest glass of wine, the longest bubble bath, and other mega self-care.

If you’ve made it this far into this post, you deserve a glass of wine, too! ;)

I just needed to put all that out there so maybe some of it would get out of my head for a little while. Ahhhh. Thanks for reading.

p.s. Have you entered my Valkee 2 giveaway yet? I’m choosing a winner on Valentine’s Day (well, evening). Maybe you’ll get lucky on Valentine’s Day afterall!  ;)

photo by: andertoons

Champagne stemsThe holidays race by every year. Halloween to New Year’s Day is an ever-speeding blur. This time next week, decorations will be coming down, presents in their new permanent locations throughout the house. Jax will be asking when Santa’s coming back.

I’ll be working diligently to keep freshly made resolutions in the front of my mind, like I do every year. By March, they might be forgotten, if history is any indication of what to expect. Note to self: Scroll through last year’s posts to try to figure out what my 2013 resolutions were.

We had a wonderful holiday season, with lots of new memories made. My niece, who at 2 months old celebrated her first Christmas, was one of the highlights for my family. Jax in his tie was another; he was so proud to be dressed up, and he totally rocked it. I’m blogging from my new Chromebook, which is a highlight for me. I know already how this will affect my blogging–I will do more of it! It’s been incredibly inconvenient to blog at home for a myriad reasons. First and foremost of which is that our mac is upstairs, far away from the kitchen and most of the toys, making it difficult for me to be both Mom & Blogger if I’m solo parenting. Momming always wins, and the blog takes a hit.

With “Blog more” making the list of 2014 resolutions (as I suspect is the case for some of you as well), let me introduce the rest of my many goals for the year. From my “Positivity Notebook,” I present to you the whole ambitious list:

  • Try yoga again, with an open mind.
  • Attend 12-week balance class. Practice mindfulness.
  • Blog for Postpartum Progress, without fear.
  • [Secret goal redacted. Will confess later, when I am permitted to do so.]
  • Allow myself to be more transparent and vulnerable (in life and here on the blog).

There you have it. It’s going to be an awesome year, with great potential for personal growth. I’m really looking forward to 2014! Except for New Year’s Day, which I find to be the most depressing day of the entire year. But that’s a story for a whole other post…

 

photo by: dps

Update: Contest is now closed. Congratulations to the winner, Raine. Your comment was randomly selected via Random.org as the winner! I’ll be in touch with you via email later today.

 

Wisdom journal from MintedHow cute is my new, custom journal from Minted?! I’m almost intimidated to write in it because it’s too adorable—how will my words compare?

In case you haven’t heard about Minted yet, let me explain who they are. Minted is a global community of independent graphic designers and an online store that prints and sells the best of their designs in the form of paper goods. Brides, Minted makes killer wedding invitations, too!

But my favorite products on their site are the journals, because you know I’m a written word junky. Few things excite me more than the clean, fresh first page of a brand new journal. So many possibilities for writing! Typically, I start out a new journal optimistically, writing about the joys of life, the things I appreciate, all the good times and happy memories. Slowly I can see my negative thoughts creeping in there toward the middle pages. Then I decide I need to buy a new journal to start over again once my writing turns to the dark side in the second half. It is rare I finish writing all the way to the final page! Therefore, I have a collection of unfinished journals and diaries that go back to age 8. But none of them are as cute as my Minted journal.

What I particularly love about Minted is that the journals are designed by independent artists, yet each one can be personalized by you.  I ordered and personalized this cutie. I’m considering holding off on writing in it until I’m done my Positivity Notebook and then using my Minted journal for Positivity, Part II.

What do you think I should use my new journal for?

Leave a comment telling me what you would use your shiny new Minted journal for, and your comment will serve as your entry to win the journal of your choice! For one additional entry, leave a second comment indicating which Minted journal is your favorite.

One winner will be selected one week from today, on Wednesday, June 12, and will be notified via email.

Disclaimer: I received no financial compensation for hosting this giveaway; However, I did receive one gorgeous, personalized Minted journal. The views and opinions expressed in this post are my own.

 

If you could see the posts sitting in my Drafts folder, you’d understand a little bit about the current state of my brain. It’s all over the place. And each time I sit down to blog, I end up saving the post as a draft because I feel it is rubbish. I assume that someday I’ll get back to it, but some of those drafted posts have been there for years.

I’ll give you a glimpse of a few of them. There’s the one about the Bored Jar, which I drafted in 2011! You could google it and find a thousand posts about this concept that are better written than what I would have published.

There’s the one about car shopping with a toddler in tow. That one primarily became a post about all the ways Jax made it a humorous adventure–he sobbed when I didn’t leave one dealership with the orange car he’d chosen for me, for example.

There’s the one about real women. You know the quotes you’ve probably seen a thousand times by now: “A real woman…” blah, blah, blah. I was fed up one day after spending far too much time on Pinterest and started to write a post compiling all the things a “real” woman is expected to be and do and think and say. But it was too depressing to publish.

There’s the one about how I never know the right thing to say in a situation, whereas my friends make it look effortless. I am lucky to have friends who comfort when comfort is needed, who dole out the hard truth when nobody else wants to, and so on. They are gifted with the necessary words and the knowledge to discern when to use them and when to keep quiet. Sometimes, this is intimidating. I find myself not saying anything because I can’t think of the perfect thing to say.

There’s the one about my decision to get a tattoo honoring my son. I drafted it before I took the plunge and got his first and middle name tattooed in my own handwriting. I suppose this one is the most likely to become a real post sometime soon. Stay tuned.

There’s the one all about Elliott Smith, who used to be my favorite singer of all time, but whom I rarely listen to anymore. I find his music–and his story–to be too depressing now. But if you’ve never heard of him, get on Spotify and listen to a few of his songs. They’re beautiful.

There’s the one about quitting therapy. I can’t finish that one because I’m back in therapy and I’m quite happy about it.

And there are a few more drafts sitting in there that may not ever become real posts. This is perplexing to me because I am in a blogging rut, feeling like I have nothing to say–kind of silly, given the 14 unfinished posts in my Drafts folder! Not to mention the sponsored posts I owe to a few places.

The words just aren’t flowing well these days.

What’s in your Drafts folder? Do you think you’ll ever finish those posts?