Feel Good Friday 71
I feel like this week’s FGF should be subtitled the “Or the most okayest Friday.” My kids are all on spring break and conveniently (for Chris, that is) Chris has been out of town. And to top it off, we’re having weird weather. I did use the one nice day to take the kids to the Science Center, but after that it’s been like, “Ooooh another movie day!” Picture me saying that with a desperately anxious shrill to my voice and you get the idea. All of that to say, we are making the best of it with the help of homemade waffles and technology. Wednesday morning I felt my chest tighten and I had to stop and just take some deep breaths and make a conscious effort to move forward through the day with love rather than the nagging bitterness I had woken with. Anyone else ever feel like that? What can I say, I am only human. A flawed one at that. Nevertheless, even when – especially when – times are stressful, it’s important to reach for the good things. Here’s what kept me from killing anyone this week, but did not stop me from shooting daggers with my eyes.
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The anteater at the Science Center, obviously feeling exactly like me this week.
The Greensboro Science Center
If you’re in the vicinity of Greensboro, I strongly encourage you to check out the Greensboro Science Center. We have a membership and use it often. They’ve recently reopened some of the exhibits that have been closed and we had a fantastic time checking them all out. There are many opportunities to learn and discover and the kids get some great exercise and fresh air as well.
Wilder really enjoyed climbing under this tortoise shell. You can’t see most of his face, but he was saying, “Cheese!” and giving me his biggest grin, which is why his eyes are nearly closed.
One of the neatest features of the dinosaur display is this interactive play area, which just reopened. You stand where it tells you to on the floor and then watch the screen above. It looks like dinosaurs are flying and walking with you! While the older kids and I think that’s super fun, Wilder was a little freaked out. Mental note: Too soon for Jurassic Park.
Healthy Salmon Sheet Pan Dinner
Oops, we ate half before I remembered to snap a photo.
I think sheet pan dinners might be my new favorite thing! They’re easy to make and can be served with a salad for a healthy meal. The one we tried this week, sheet pan salmon niçoise, was also delicious served over cauliflower rice, which is how I ate the leftovers. This meal was incredibly simple to make and filled with roasted vegetable goodness, including artichokes, olives, asparagus, green beans, cherry tomatoes and, my favorite, onions. I love roasted or grilled onions! I don’t care to kiss anyone, obviously.
A Moving Audiobook
I had heard so much praise for Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates and was excited to read it when my co-worker selected it for our new O.Hey Greensboro book club. Because I’ve been short on time, but I walk my dogs most afternoons with headphones in, I opted for the audiobook which is only a little over 3.5 hours long, or 4 walks long. This book is written in the format of a letter, from an adult Black male to his just-turned adult son. It’s emotional and eye-opening. As a woman, I live with a certain fear, but it’s nothing compared to the fear that Black parents face when they are raising sons in this world. Needless to say, this book really touched me and I found myself crying on my walk and committing to do better. Like many, I’ve been working on just that for the past year, but I know there’s still so much more room for improvement in all of us.
Efficient Workout Program
Almost three years ago, a couple months after having Wilder, I signed up for the free Betty Rocker 30-day Make Fat Cry Challenge. It features short 15-minute daily workouts that I could squeeze into my mornings and I saw great results from it. In fact, I loved it so much that I purchased the 90-Day Challenge she offers as a follow-up. I got about halfway through and then we found out we were moving and life got hectic. I started it again and this past week, I just passed the halfway mark in my 90-Day Challenge. The workouts are again short, 10-25 minutes each, and each week includes a rest day, a mindset day, a yoga day, three intense workouts and a core workout. I am seeing results, but I still need to work on my eating habits a bit. (I just started with a health coach yesterday, so I will keep you posted on that!) Just wanted to share this here because recently I had friends looking for workouts they could fit into their lives and I recommended the free 30-day challenge. I now have a few friends doing it and loving it! Tip: If you do it, do it first thing in the morning and get it over with! It helps set the tone for your day and then you don’t have it hanging over you like a looming storm cloud. I think it’s really important to remember that to be able to exercise is a privilege and to choose something that brings you joy in the movement. When it feels like a daunting obligation to check off, it’s easy to fall off course.
Podcast Series Finale
I’ve shared this podcast here a couple of times over the last few months. Talking Body is a 12 episode podcast featuring conversations around loving our bodies with topics such as race, age, abilities, motherhood and more. It’s been really thought provoking and has encouraged me to love my own body more, which has always been a struggle. The series just wrapped up and host, Amy Porterfield, is pondering doing another season. I truly hope she will. I have actually listened in the mornings on my runs and it’s like listening to a girlfriend talk to me and encourage me. Many of the thoughts that Amy has surrounding her body image mirror my own and I found it to be a healing and helpful show.
Amazon Prime Thriller
You know I love my murder shows! Last week, I finished a book and needed a little break so I literally spent all weekend during Wilder’s naps binging Tell Me Your Secrets on Amazon Prime. Oooooh it’s SO good and twisty-turny! It stars Lily Rabe who worked out so hard for this role to have a hardened post-prison look about her. I am in awe and she inspired me to want to work out harder (not because I feel badly about myself, speaking of body image, but because I was like DAYUM!) Check out the trailer below:
Oscar Nominated Movie & Performance
Last week, I mentioned that I wanted to try to watch as many of the Oscar nominees as possible before the awards show later in April. With Chris being away, I watched Nomadland because he had said he wasn’t interested in seeing it at all. Frances McDormand stars as a woman who lost her husband to cancer and her job to a huge factory shutdown that left a town practically vacant. The movie follows her as she lives a nomadic life, traveling for seasonal factory work and befriending interesting characters along the way. It’s really about the resilience of the human spirit as well as the power we have to choose our home and family. I thought this film was beautifully done and it’s no wonder Frances McDormand is up for an Oscar. She’s phenomenal! This movie is definitely a thinking movie. When it was over, I didn’t have that energetic cinematic feeling, but I did ponder life, relationships and the choices I make. It’s worth watching if you’re in that kind of mood. But if you just want to be entertained, maybe not. Check out the trailer below.
A Feel-Good Movie to Watch with Kids
Emmy and I are all about the musicals and when I saw a campy teen musical hit Netflix, I invited her to watch it with me. A Week Away is about a boy, Will Hawkins (I wonder if the writers are Stranger Things fans), who has been alone in the world after losing his parents in an accident as a child. He’s gotten into trouble for stealing a car and is either headed to juvie or can attend a Christian summer camp. Off to Aweegaway camp he goes where his life is forever changed. Super cheesy, super Christian, but a sweet, feel-good movie. Plus they brought in some late 80s early 90s modern Christian songs I recognized as originally performed by Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith. Emmy was like, “You know these songs, Mom?” Oh, you bet I do, Emmy. I love when it’s like karaoke TV.
Spotted Around Town
Lastly, Chris and I were at Lowes last weekend grabbing a couple of plants our local garden center didn’t have. When we emerged from the store headed back to our car, we found this old BMW with a bike on top parked next to us. We both were admiring it and I was taking that photo, when the owner walked out and started getting into his car. We told him how much we loved it and I thanked him for letting me take a photo of it. I grew up in New England and many of my preppy friends had old BMWs, vintage Saabs and Volvos. These kinds of cars just remind me of my high school years and I always feel a sense of nostalgia when I spy them.
Speaking of Lowes, I grabbed a fern for my porch and finally replaced the pansies that were dead. Actually, there was one bold white-faced pansy still standing strong. Plant mom of the year!
That’s all I have for you this week. By the way, did I mention I decided to give up wine unless we are out somewhere. After this week, I may need to go out, just so I can have a glass – or five. 😉 Have a fabulous weekend!