Feel Good Friday 86
Last week, the summer felt like it hit a turning point – a good one. Life felt less out of control. I don’t know about you, but one thing I’e struggled with my entire life is asking for help. Doing it myself has been as much about my stubbornness and wanting to appear strong and capable as it is about my desire to always have control over the outcome. But that mentality isn’t doing anyone – especially myself – any favors. As we approach August and my older kids going back to school while Wilder will be home for that entire month, my stress levels were at an all time high. We decided to suck it up and pay for help 3 weeks of the month and while it will be costly, it will be worth my sanity. Additionally, I was hosting some of my friends this past weekend and wanted to make the night super special so I created a theme, ordered decorations, made food that fit the theme. The day of, I was still not showered 2 hours before they were to arrive and blowing up balloons with no end in sight. Chris stepped in to run the last minute errands and blow up all of the balloons for me. Sawyer wiped down patio furniture and Emmy helped me hang one of the more tedious decorations. I can’t tell you how grateful I am to my family for their help. It was a reminder to me that people are willing to help if you are willing to let go of control and ask for it. (More on that in this post as well as another post coming all about the event itself!) Anyhow, I am breathing a little easier these days and have lots of great stuff to share with you.
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The Most Beautiful Cookies in the World
OK, so this is a sneak peek of the evening I hosted with my girlfriends. I recruited my talented neighbor to make rainbow cookies for us and she knocked it out of the park. They’re absolutely delicious as well, like insanely good. Wilder asked me to make some yesterday and gave him a “Who do you think I am?” look. He’ll have to settle for m&m cookies. Instead, I texted my neighbor and told her she needs to start a monthly cookie subscription box for us. She said she’s actually thinking of launching that this fall, so stay tuned, local friends. We’ll be her first subscription customers!
Moving Song (Get your tissues ready!)
I am such a fan of Brandi Carlile that when I am cooking dinner, I often say, “Alexa, play the Brandi Carlile station.” I love to hear artists I may not know as well as similar music by those I do know . . . Patti Griffin, Maren Morris, The Avett Brothers, to name a few. Recently, a song by an artist I didn’t know streamed and I was stopped in my tracks and found myself in tears. When You’re My Age by Lori McKenna is a beautiful song that, of course, makes me think of my own children, but also invites me to see myself through my parents’ eyes. We always want the best for our kids, no matter how old they may be. They’re still gonna be our babies, even when they’re our age. Give it a listen:
Emmy had a hankering for tacos – who are we to deny our daughter that wish – this week and we had a mango sitting in our fruit bowl. I hopped on Pinterest and looked for a mango salsa recipe I could make using things I already had in my refrigerator and pantry and came across this easy mango salsa on Minimalist Baker. Indeed, it was incredibly easy and, to be honest, therapeutic. There’s something so soothing about the motion of chopping and dicing fruits and veggies. This salsa has a bit of heat from a hot pepper, but also sweetness from bell peppers. Chris used it on his taco and loved it.
I made myself a fish taco bowl with cauliflower rice, lettuce, avocado and black beans, and it was probably the best dinner I had all week – healthy, fresh and scrumptious.
A Horoscope with Affirmation for the New Moon
Well + Good puts out a lot of health and mindset information. I’m always excited when their newsletter includes astrology-related items because they’ve been pretty spot on. Sunday’s newsletter brought a piece about what the new moon will bring for your sign. Above is mine, which was paired with the affirmation: I deserve rest and self care. My well-being is just as important as my work.
That affirmation really hit me because I always struggle with placing my worth in my productivity. For a long time, I’ve contemplated making some changes in my life pertaining to my blog and instagram and I think that time has come. This horoscope felt very in line with my thought process. I shared this with my closest friends and Chris and everyone’s horoscope seemed spot on. Check yours here.
Normalizing Diverse Bodies
I shared this on my personal facebook page, but was so pleased to see that Sports Illustrated’s 2021 runway boasted bodies of all shapes, sizes, colors and abilities. Here’s what I wrote on facebook:
A Sweet(s) Read
I picked this book up on a whim the other day. It was in my nightstand (where I store my 50+ books to be read) and looked like a sweet and simple one which suited the mood I was in. It’s the story of a small town and the people whose paths cross and help each other through life. The story centers on 87-year-old Lucille, a woman who teaches baking classes in her home.I don’t want to give anything away, but it was a super quick read and beautiful story about finding love and friendship where you least expect it. BTW, this book is actually part two in a series but you don’t really have to have read the first for it to make sense. If you want to start with number one, here it is.
Troublemaker by Leah Remini is one of those books I’ve been interested in reading, but also hesitated because I just wasn’t sure if it would feel too gossipy. It was available on my Libby app as an audiobook last week and I decided to download it. Whew! I am glad I did because it was honestly so interesting to take a peek behind the Scientology curtain. It was read by the author, which I always appreciate. If you’ve ever been curious about Hollywood & Scientology, check it out! Aside from that, this book has an underlying message of trusting your own moral compass on what’s right and wrong. At one time, her young daughter says the most profound thing to her about knowing things here (as she pointed to her head) versus knowing them here (and pointed to her heart.) That was my favorite moment in the book.
Glennon Does it Again
I could share Glennon Doyle’s podcast every single week. This week’s episode was one of my top two but the one I am going to share is from last week, titled Queer Freedom. I didn’t listen until Saturday though because I wasn’t sure it would really be relevant to me. I decided it would be good to listen and I am so so glad I did. Glennon’s wife Abby joins her and talks a lot about growing up in the church as a gay child and feeling that she eventually had to choose herself instead of religion. It was such a powerful listen, but the moment that hit me was when Abby said that we need to “protect who your children could become one day and make that easy for them.” This statement really relates to anything in life, not just sexuality. I so admire how Glennon gives her children room to be themselves, even if it’s messy and hard. I hope I am doing that for mine. (BTW, Glennon’s oldest, who came out in his youth, is on his way to Harvard. And her middle child is a talented musician/songwriter, so I’d say it’s working out quite well for them!)
I’ve followed local photographer Madalyn Yates for quite some time. She’s extremely talented and has a niche for branding photography. When O.Henry magazine was looking for someone to do some branding photography, I immediately suggested her and put her in touch. The magazine has been thrilled with the work she’s done! We finally took the chance to get together in person last week at a local restaurant that I would say is the “It” eatery at the moment, The Sage Mule.
We had a delicious lunch and enjoyed chatting and getting to know each other more. She’s a happy soul with so much creative talent and I am excited to get go know her more. As I mentioned in my post about Greensboro the other day, I just love the spirit of community that exists here. PS- I am super excited to share something we’ve got cooking next month. 😉
Life’s little moments
Next week’s O.Hey newsletter (which I work on as part of my job at O.Henry) will feature some of the local ice cream shops as part of National Ice Cream Month. Our family was more than willing to take one for the team and hit up a local spot this weekend, Ozzie’s. I had a scoop of peach paired with a scoop of oatmeal cookie and it was insanely delicious! I licked that bowl clean. Wilder has been wanting to try his ice cream in a cone, so we let him go for it. His current favorite flavor is mint chocolate chip, which he naturally added rainbow sprinkles to. We eventually had to grab a bowl for him because he was a dripping mess, but he loved his cone down to every last drip.
Well, friend, I hope you have a wonderful weekend filled with National Ice Cream Month celebrations and that you savor every last drip and sprinkle (literally and figuratively!)