Wednesday, May 28, 2014

31, 32.


Before I even get into writing this post I have to warn you that I have been feeling very Oprah-y lately. You know, just trying to live my best life authentically, etc. etc. and while looking back over my 31st year I could probably go on for awhile about the highs and the lows. I'll spare you though and just say that really, for a year that was all about life and joy, it was also a year filled with a lot of loss. How strange life is. Without rewriting something I've talked about so many times here I'll simplify and say what we all know- that we just don't have a lot of time here. And I think any instance when we lose someone we love that idea is brought to the forefront...but when you lose multiple friends or family members in a short amount of time those lessons are seriously compounded, and in my case at least, I'm left with this very strong urge to just stop the bullshit and enjoy life. None of it matters. Really.

I've been working on so many things over the past year but I think most of all I've been focusing on being kind to myself. And oh, is that is such a huge, broad thing. It encompasses so much and when you get it right, it affects so much.  Being kind to yourself isn't just about loving thoughts, or making "me time." It's way, way beyond that. It's about knowing your worth, and knowing what your time is worth. For me this means so much, including recognizing the things that make me feel like my best self, and then doing those things. Sounds simple, although it usually isn't.

I remember asking myself questions when I turned 30- do I like who I am? Am I my best self most of the time? No? How can I get there, then? And when I turned 31 I revisited these questions, things I wrote out in my paper journal.

Nothing's ever a finished product, and after reading back through those pages this is beyond clear. I can ask myself those questions again and although I know I am not fully there, I am closer. And that feels good, that progress.

Most of all though when I look back at my 31st year I am in awe of this life. I get to be Hank's wife and Henry and Charlie's mama and to me, that's everything. Love. That's all we need and I have an abundance of it and if I could I would SHOUT to the rooftops THANK YOU a million times to whoever is listening.

31 was so good to me, and it's pretty neat to see that a big chunk of that was spent learning how to be better to myself. I can only cross my fingers that 32 is just as sweet.

xoxo


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Taking Stock

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A couple of my online pals (here and here- although I think the original is here) have been doing these and I thought it was such a neat post. Similar to my Currentlys but shorter and a little more fun since there are so many areas to fill out! If you do one too, be sure to leave a link in the comments so I can check yours out as well.

Making:
 lots of plans to visit friends in the near future- so many babies are being born. I feel like the end of 2014 and 2015 are going to be Tour de Baby for me.
Cooking:
 pancakes, pancakes, pancakes! Henry has been on the biggest pancake kick. I've also made variations of this dish quite a bit lately.
Drinking:
 water.
Reading:
 nothing. Send recs!
Wanting:
 for people (and the "media," whatever that means) to understand that by sharing and resharing link to Elliott Rodger's YouTube videos you're doing exactly what he wanted, and sending a very clear message to anyone else who ever dreamed of doing what he did. It makes me so sad and sick.
Looking:
 at Madeline, laying at my feet.
Playing:
 music is on right now- Tom Petty.
Wasting:
 time, every single night. It's already 10pm and I should have done this post earlier but I was super busy doing absolutely nothing. ;)
Sewing:
 oh god. Nothing!
Wishing:
 that I was able to stop time, just for a bit. This stage of life is so, so sweet.
Enjoying:
 these warmer nights. I'm really looking forward to even warmer ones when we can enjoy our back porch once the sun goes down.
Waiting:
 for this weekend! Birthdays and anniversary here we come.
Liking:
 the talks Hank and I have been having about the future. It's so fun to daydream and talk about what's next.
Wondering:
 if my sister and Abe and my parents will enjoy Palm Springs- we're taking them all there this upcoming weekend.
Loving: 
Grey's Anatomy! SUCH a good show. I can't believe it took me to long to get into it.
Hoping:
 that my 32nd year is as great as this one.
Marveling:
 at how much both Henry and Charlie are growing everyday. Henry seems to be on the verge of reading and Charlie on the verge of talking. It's amazing to see the leaps and bounds they each make everyday.
Needing:
 a day to unplug.
Smelling:
 fresh cut grass. It makes me so happy- totally takes me back to early morning soccer games growing up.
Wearing:
 cut off jean shorts and comfy tops.
Following:
 so many inspiring mamas on IG- I was just thinking about how great it is to feel like I'm surrounded by such positivity, even online.
Noticing:
 a lot of little things in the world I would have otherwise missed if Henry wasn't there to remind me. A small butterfly, the way a cloud looks like a tractor, the sound the wind makes through the neighbor's chimes.
Feeling:
 a little more back to my old self. It's crazy how long it takes to get there after having a baby. With Henry I don't think I really felt 100% back to me until he was at least a year old.
Opening:
 snacks. All day long. Henry's forever quote- "can I have a snaaack?"

Feeling: exhausted. Why am I still awake?

xoxo


Friday, May 23, 2014

Weekend Links

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First things first, I'm having a summer ad sale! Half off all ad sizes. Email me at sometimessweet(at)gmail(dot)com if you'd like more info.

I also wanted to share a quick review of a really awesome product that was sent to us. Have you used a sleep sack with your little one? We always had but with the weather heating up I was hesitant to put one on Charlie. The fabulous folks over at Halo sent us this one, and I love it. Light weight muslin, easy to zip up and down for diaper changes, and cute too. I highly recommend it. Here's a cute photo of Charlie in his!

And now, here are some things I've been enjoying around the web this week! Enjoy. xo

Here's a great post about achieving healthy, glowing skin...naturally.

Absolutely LOVE these shoes for Charlie.

Service 101: Being the Unseen.

What this woman learned from a year of no drinking.

Anna Kendrick and Lena Dunham- can't wait to see this movie!

Super informative photography post: all about prime lenses and focal lengths.

Some (new to me) favorite IG feeds: one, two and three.

A wonderful post on one of my favorite blogs.

Read/watch this preview: Do I Sound Gay?

Goodbye Jessica McClintock- I wore a couple of her dresses for various Homecomings and Proms throughout the years.

Etsy love: this print, this ring, and this sweatshirt. And this letter! Too cute.

How to get your body caftan ready for summer. 

The doors of Palm Springs. Beautiful images from Diana.

If I wasn't afraid of birds I would love to do this...

Love me some Sandy.

Chelsea is the sweetest- love her outfit posts.

Homemade popsicles are the best.

This phone case is absolutely perfect.

Why am I always hungry?

And, why am I always busy?

A very interesting piece on Monica Lewinsky. The first paragraph will draw you right in.

The Marriage Plot.

A wonderful blog to keep you busy for awhile.

Currently...the European edition.

Same place- from a different angle.

Wishlist: this book, this weekender from Target, and this bracelet.

19 lies parents tell their kids.

Essay: I Hate Wedding Photography.

And finally, The Forgotten Photos of Mothers. This is great.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Currently.

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Charlie can *almost* reach all of the toys Henry stows up on the couch, out of reach. He's getting so big, so fast. 

Doing: At this very moment I'm transferring one million photos onto my external hard drives from iPhoto. In the past I never used iPhoto and it was no big deal backing things up- every time I took things off my camera I would make neat little dated folders and then each week backed everything up. Easy. But then when I got my new computer I figured I was just use iPhoto. I got lazy though and never stopped using iPhoto, and now my computer's hard drive is at capacity due to all the pictures on it. And so in order to make more space I have to get rid of all of them. The huge problem though, is that when I went to backup iPhoto it got super funky with all the photos and there was little to no organization, which is a nightmare when dealing with years of albums. So now I'm dragging each event separately as I organize then. It might take me all night (all week?) but when I'm done I will FINALLY be able to use my normal camera again, start printing photos, and get back to the boys' baby books.

Thinking about: I'm turning 32 in a week and I'm really excited. I've always been a big fan of birthdays and to me it feels a bit like New Year's Eve in the sense of place markers in time. It's fun to look back at the year I've had, and plan fun things for the next. I will post something more about my 31st year next week, but it's been such a good one. The best yet, maybe, even though there have been many sad things too.

Watching: two things to discuss here- one, I am watching The Bachelorette this season but I AM reading spoilers. It's really the only way I can enjoy it, because my hopefully optimistic heart has turned cynic and I can no longer believe that anything about the show is real. Yes, I used to think it was real...and yes, I'm laughing at myself too. Reading the spoilers though makes it so much more fun because now I know what to look out for and who to watch. I promise I won't spoil it for you though! Second thing- I always love to be in the middle of a television series, and today I just started Grey's Anatomy! I had seen a couple episodes here and there many years ago but don't remember a thing about it. One episode in and I'm loving it. I'm only about a decade late to the game, but whatever!

Looking forward to: As the years have gone by Hank and I have moved away from buying each other gifts for our birthdays and anniversary and instead put our money towards traveling. This year for our birthday we are heading to Palm Springs, along with my parents, sister and Lucy. I can't wait for the super hot weather, which might sound weird but as long as there's a pool I don't mind the 100+ weather.

Reading: I keep meaning to start Gone Girl but I still haven't. Have you read it? Did you like it? Any other summer reading recs you'd like to share?

Loving: this weather, planning summer trips, grass in our backyard, all the $6 peonies at Trader Joe's, eating lunch outside everyday, windows open, Charlie and all of the "almost talking" sounds he's been making, our birthday and anniversary week coming up, and mangoes every single morning.

So, how about you? What are you up to today? Feel free to do your own "currently" post on your blog and link back in the comments for everyone to check out. And thanks again to my dear friend Megan for providing the original inspiration for these posts.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Few Last Things V.4


A Few Last Things with (the wonderful, beautiful, inspiring!) Allison of A Little Blueberry:

Last really delicious meal you enjoyed:  This may sound funny but I'm not really a person who eats food to enjoy it, I'm more of a person who eats it because I have to (but find that I am too busy to actually sit down and eat something I enjoy).  Anyone else out there like that?!  I do love to cook and made super yummy gluten free, free range teriyaki chicken with broccoli, peppers and onions over brown rice this week.  My daughter, Lemon, wanted nothing to do with it, but my husband and I enjoyed it while she ate leftover mac & cheese.  Oh the life of a toddler mom!

Last time you felt nervous:  I actually have a super fun girls trip coming up with a bunch of my best girlfriends and instead of being excited about it I am nervous!  We are going to Palm Springs, and I am looking forward to it, but am nervous to leave my baby for 4 days.  I have never been away that long, am still nursing (and realize that I probably won't be when I return) and am just a worry wart about the drive and if something happens to me while I'm away.  Any other mamas hate to leave their babes?  I know I will be happy once I get there, but it's so hard to be excited because I will just miss her so much!

Last big thing you splurged on:  My husband and I work our butts off (we are both high school teachers), but never seem to have any extra money.  We have a nanny, our friend, that watches our daughter, and most of our extra money goes to her - definitely money well spent.  We do have a little side business, making wooden rings and other jewelry at Spirit Bee Woodworks so this allows us to have some fun money.  I booked a 2 week trip this summer for Lemon's 2nd birthday and that's the last big thing I splurged on!

Last family vacation you took:  We actually went to Coronado Island during Spring Break, our favorite vacation spot.  It's close, it's the beach (my fav!) and a great place to take a toddler.  I dream of the beach when I'm sitting in my classroom staring at those teenagers - take me back!

Last time you were moved to tears:  I got a Mother's Day card this year with Lemon's scribbling in it, and it made me cry.  I woke up that morning to breakfast, a cute Toy Story card and a rose plant - but the best thing was that little scribble.  I just can't believe my daughter is old enough to scribble in a card for me!  I will keep it forever.

Last time you were wrong:  Wow this one is tough!  I am sure that I have been wrong many times just this week when grading students' work, entering grades and talking to them about their grades.  Of course all mistakes have been fixed and papers have been found (not lost by me, of course!) and we only have 3 days of school left.  Yippee!

Last person you missed:  I saw a picture on Facebook, the other day, of my Nani, my mom's mom, from Mother's Day in 2010.  It was strange seeing that picture of her, because it seems like just yesterday (and forever ago), all at the same time.  I miss my Nani so much and wish she could have met Lemon; I see her face every day in my daughter's face and they share many of the same mannerisms and expressions.

Last blog/IG account you really fell in love with:  I have an Instagram shopping problem (I'm sure other mamas can relate) and packages show up at our house every week.  I love all of the shops that sell vintage baby clothes; and it reminds me of the old days when I used to comb thrift stores for rare finds.  But, this time, I comb the internet to find cute, vintage baby clothes.  You definitely need the fastest fingers in the west to snatch something up, these mamas are quick!  But, here are some shops that I love, and have recently found, and that I managed to snag some items from: shopminiwhimsy, jandmcloset, moonbabyyvintage and hazelandgray.

**Be sure to check out both Allison's blog and IG- she's one of my favorites...and an AZ local!

xoxo

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Here is something I'm practicing:

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It's such an easy thing to talk about being happy with where you are. But it's equally as easy to see something else up ahead, and want to rush and be there. Being a mother has given me so many gifts, but perhaps one of the greatest gifts has been this daily practice of slowing down. It's hard to explain, but to me at least, because I see time slipping by every single day with all of the changes my these babies go through (crawling, standing up, walking, talking- it's all so fast), I feel like I have this a very clear view and a very strong pull to stay in the now, and just be in the now. But at the same time it's so very hard to do so. So I'm working on that lately, practicing just being here. It sounds so simple but really, it's hard to just be. It takes focus. When I'm playing with the boys I'm playing with the boys. No distractions, no phone, please. I try to clear my head and just play, stop thinking about what I read earlier or what I have to do later. Watch Charlie's face as he discovers something new, see Henry run and jump and swing off the monkey bars. Things I normally see and do but all of this without being somewhere else, even half of me. Presence is a gift my children deserve and I want to always be mindful of this. When I'm sitting here writing words I try and do the same. Close the door (it's almost always nighttime and everyone is asleep anyway), keep the lights low and just try and capture whatever it is right here in this box. Or on those pages. When I'm cooking I want to really cook, to taste the lemon I'm squeezing over the dish, to smell the garlic simmering on the stove. I don't know, it all sounds so silly to type out but recently I've just felt like I want more out of every experience I have. It's been such a weird year, so much loss and this past month there's been so much more. 2014 has been a strange one, I've never been happier but also never experienced a lot of the emotions I've been feeling. And in the middle of the spectrum, one end happy and one end so sad, there's a great awakening in there. Something reminding me that none of us know what's next or how much time we have. And without dipping into the most cliched version of myself I have to say that all I can think about is how short this all is, and even shorter when we realize that there are no guarantees. This whole idea has its own spectrum too, with a very happy side (you only live once, so do it all) and a very sad side (you only live once, you can't do it all) and I think right now I'm just in the middle of that too, paddling my way along and figuring out what I can do, and being reminded with every loss of a friend or family member, or family member of a friend, that we don't even know how much time we have in our hourglass that's constantly emptying. So while I'm here I just want to be here, you know? So that's what I'm practicing right now- practicing the art of really being where I am and really doing what I do.

How about you?


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Mother's Day Weekend 2014

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Here are some simple things I really love and enjoy: family, traveling, and good food. On a sub list somewhere "attending weddings" and "insanely comfortable hotel beds" would also be included, and lucky me, each of these things were included in my Mother's Day weekend.

It's safe to say that this year was the best yet. Handmade cards from the kids (good job, Hank!), sleeping in just a bit, and a special brunch at a really delicious place. I didn't want anything fancy. Most of all I just wanted to spend time with my family, and when we found out that our friend Scott's wedding happened to fall on Mother's Day weekend we figured we would just make a little trip of it and spend the weekend in Tucson.

It was such a beautiful wedding, and a really nice way to spend time together, dancing on the makeshift backyard dance floor with our family of friends and toasting to the new couple. Both of the boys made it until about 9:30pm and then we headed back to the hotel. The next morning we grabbed brunch at Ascension to Food Cafe, an amazing vegan restaurant in downtown Tucson. I can't recommend it enough! We swung by my parents' on the way back up north, and by the time I laid my head down on my pillow that night I was so tired, but full of so much thankfulness for such a great time.

Here are some photos, and I hope your weekend was just a great. xo

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