Feel Good Friday 92
I’ve made it through the halfway point of Chris’ five-week training. Let me just say right now, bless all the single parents and military spouses because I could not do this forever. I supposed I would if I didn’t have a choice, of course, but, man, it’s not for the faint of heart. Sawyer is on the cross-country team this year and with our extreme heat lately, they practiced before school this week at 6 a.m. That means I’ve been getting up at 4:40 so I can run and walk the dogs before dropping him off. I. Am. Tired. Thankfully, my mom has been here this week for a bit which helped. And I am eternally grateful for my community of people (you, too!) who check in on me, send me messages, drop things off at my door and, in general, just make sure that I am doing OK. In addition to the people who are getting me through, here are some of the moments books, songs and recipes that make life a little easier to swallow right not. (Because, let’s be honest, I am eating my way through life and feelings.)
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All the Feelings
My older kids are reunited at the same school again this year as Emmy enters her freshman year. I’ve got a little essay I wrote about that and will be sharing it here next week. Meanwhile, Sawyer is beginning his junior year and it’s crazy to think that he’s only got two more years of schooling while living under our roof. As any parent is, I am ridiculously proud of these two. Watching them leave that first day this year, I just sent up a little prayer that this year be gentle on their teenage hearts and emotions, but also keep their humility in check. I know my high school years were awkward but they made me who I am today. And I kind of like me, weird quirks and all. I want them to embrace what makes them weird and different, too. Because in the end, those are the things that make them shine.
We’ve done our share of back to school shopping this year for basics, like the shorts Emmy has on (currently on sale for under $20). Emmy wanted to hit the thrift shop as well for some fun BTS finds and scored the shirt you see above, as well as some other tops. While this one has a retro MTV vibe, it’s actually originally from American Eagle, now available on Poshmark. She wore this outfit with black chucks and I was in awe of how much cooler she is than I was as I entered high school. I think this weekend I’ll go hunt down photos so I can prove it to you and bring complete embarrassment to my family.
Can you tell we like salmon?
We tend to eat a lot of salmon around here because it’s a great source of protein and healthy fats, flavorful and rather easy to cook. This past weekend we tried this Half Baked Harvest recipe for lemon salmon and potato in parchment pouches with lemon dill sauce. It was tasty, but not a favorite. None of us (my mom, Chris, myself) seemed to care much for the potatoes cooked this way. The lemon flavor was great and the yogurt dill sauce was good, but all in all not my favorite. I think in the future we’d just bake the salmon separately, roast the potatoes and serve with the sauce. Here’s what it looked like plated and served as suggested with basil and arugula and the lemon-dill yogurt sauce. We paired it with green beans (I always steam them, then drain, put back in the pot with lemon juice, olive oil and a little salt) and a side salad.
Last week, I finished listening to Know My Name by Chanel Miller, the victim in the infamous Stanford rape case. This book, which was read by the author/victim, is 15 hours long but so worth it. I have so many things I’d love to say to her, but I will start with a simple thank you. As a victim of college campus sexual assault (you can find my story here), I am so grateful that this book is out there to help others. It wasn’t there for me when I needed it in 1998, but I am so glad it’s out in the world now so that others who come after will not feel the depth of loneliness that I did. This book made me cry and was hard to digest at some points, but in the end, I am filled with extreme gratitude for the strength Chanel Miller has to stand up and speak out. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
A Brand for Strong Women
Recently, friends and I were looking for something cohesive to wear for a special something we’re doing and one of them suggested we use the Bee & the Fox tops. We all found different shirts we loved and I wanted to share mine with you. First up I know it’s hard to see this one, but I was prepping to take a photo of it because I had had a rough day with Sawyer and his early morning practice and frustration. This shirt reads: “Question authority, not your mother.” As I held my phone out, Wilder said, “Mom, can I cheese with you?” It was the sweetest moment and helped me let go of some of my own anger and frustration.
This one is my favorite because I love the color and the wording: “Every Mother is a Working Woman.” Isn’t that the truth? As women, we often judge others for the decisions they make, based upon the decisions we make for ourselves. We need to remember that motherhood is hard worth whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or an employed-mom who has to rely on help of sitters, daycare, nannies. It is ALL HARD. Let’s be gentle with ourselves and others.
Speaking of Judging Women
If you’re not listening to Glennon Doyle’s podcast yet, what are you waiting for? This week’s episodes were all about gender and how we define it in our society. The second episode always features questions from listeners and there was a great conversation in the first 15 minutes about how women tend to compete with one another and can be very catty towards each other. Glennon pointed out that it’s a result of patriarchy. If there are 10 seats available, 8 are generally for me, leaving women to compete and crawl over each other for the 2 that we get. The way that she put things just made total sense to me. I listened one morning after having a wine night here with a few friends where we talked about that very thing and I brought up one of my favorite quotes that I can’t recall in its entirety or where I heard it but it goes something like this: When you light the way for yourself and finally get where you were going, turn the light around so that others may follow your path and find the way, too. I just love that idea.
Last weekend, Chris and I took a much needed date night and enjoyed cider flights at a fave local spot: Bull City Ciderworks. We enjoyed conversation and catch-up after a week of him being away, a taco food truck and deliciously crips and refreshing cider flavors. We both agreed that the blackberry infused cider was our favorite!
I made Chris pose for this photo of real feels which might go down as one of my all-time favorite photos of us. It’s funny and often accurate of marriage. These weeks solo-parenting have been hard on our marriage, to be honest. I feel alone and unsupported and when Chris is home, I don’t want to be here. Not because of him, but because I just need a break from the house and kids. That being said, we’re still working and dating each other because we both believe it’s important, we’re worth it and we know this season will pass. Until then, we’ll be over here like . . .
Another Little Sneak Peek
Last week, I shared a couple of the pillows we added to Emmy’s room for her min-room makeover. Here’s another fun little peek featuring her new artwork from Society 6 and frames from Custom Picture Frames. I adore their frames because you can get them in any size and they have non-glare plexiglass, which is great when you have kids! You can get 20% off with code CASSIE20 from CPF.
Life’s Little Moments
When Emmy cleaned out her room last week to prepare for updating it, she decided it was time to part with some of her American Girl accessories and one doll, Isabelle. That happened to be Wilder’s favorite so I asked her if she could give it to him. As you can see, he’s quite smitten and had a little date night on the sofa the same night Chris and I were out. He also makes me tuck her in with a blanket and pillow on the floor each night and after I kiss and hug him, I have to do the same to her. He’s taken to calling her “Mister Bell” and I am not sure if that’s because he can’t pronounce her name or because he renamed her. Whatever the reason, it’s adorable.
As I mentioned, this week I hosted wine night here. A couple of my friends came over while my mom was here and I put out a charcuterie for us and we had plenty of wine flowing. Wendy, my neighbor and friend and baker extraordinaire, brought over wine shaped cookies. Wilder was the first to indulge. And this, my friends, is how you teach kids about safe drinking. 😉 Follow me for more parenting tips.
And with that, my friend. It’s Friday. I’ll be looking out the window this evening, watching for Chris’ headlights and then running into my bedroom to hide for the rest of the weekend. OK, not really, but I did make myself some plans with girlfriends this weekend! Hope you have a fantastic weekend!