Happy February! It’s the month of love! I try to find something good in each month and in February I’m all about L-O-V-E and sharing it with my family – especially my sweet babies – and friends. I’m already plotting adorable crafts for Nugget to do for his first Valentine’s Day.
Anyway, I’m doing something a little different today. Usually I share a few reflections on the week that’s just passed and talk about what I’ve been reading and what I’m planning to read next, but today I’m going to link up with Anne over at Modern Mrs. Darcy and share what’s saving my life. As Anne explains, most of us know what’s killing us, but how often do we take time to reflect on (and feel grateful for) what’s saving our lives? Not often enough. You already know what’s killing me – another move, an overloaded calendar on both the work and personal fronts, toddler defiance and newborn exhaustion. I’m hoping that at least some of that is about to change. We’re basically though the move, although we’re now living in a sea of partially unpacked boxes that I don’t have time to tackle, and I’m crossing my fingers for a slightly lighter schedule after about mid-February. (Not too light, mind you – it’s always better to be busy when you work in a law firm – but at least more manageable.) But with all that’s killing me, here’s what’s saving my life:
- Cuddles with my sweet baby. I am hyper-aware of the passage of time (it’s one of my less attractive characteristics) and it makes me want to maximize every moment, because there’s always a voice in the back of my head saying “He’ll never be this little again!” Nugget speaks directly to my heart in ways all his own, and I am soaking up every second of his babyhood.
- Peanut’s sweet, spontaneous “I love you, Mama!”s. There’s a chance she is playing me, but I don’t care. I love it. Play me like a violin, Peanut. Play me like a violin.
- Related: Laughing at the hilarious things Peanut says. Recently, while dropping her off at school, I noticed that her classroom had a board titled “Helping Hands” on which they were displaying tracings of each of the kids’ hands and a quote from that kid about what he or she could do to help someone else. Peanut’s quote? “I can help Baby N stop crying by putting on a fashion show.” So hilarious, and so Peanut! I laughed at that one all day long.
- Rotating through my favorite scarves. I have more filmy shawls, woven wraps, and infinity scarves than one person really needs, most of them bought from Lou Lou, a boutique in DC that my friend Nancy and I used to visit regularly on our lunch breaks. I’ve been wearing them more than usual lately – staying cozy while I have fun mixing patterns and stripes (something I rarely do).
- My friend Zan. Last week I mentioned that she came over and spent her entire Saturday helping kid-wrangle and pack. She was so incredibly generous with her time, but that’s Zan. I don’t always make friends easily, and I’m so grateful I’ve gotten to know her since we moved here. She has made a tough transition a lot easier.
- The ladies who work in the cafeteria in my office basement. I go down there for coffee every morning, and hit the salad bar or grab a cup of soup almost every day for lunch. (I want to get back to bringing my own lunch to save money, but it’s just one of those things that has fallen by the wayside while life has been so crazy.) I joke that even if I did pack my lunch I’d still have to go downstairs to check in, because they would worry if I didn’t come down! We chat, they ask about the kids, and they dole out hugs along with sandwiches and breakfast scrambles. If I tell them I’m under the weather, I inevitably get a peanut butter sandwich and a “Here, honey, I hope it does you good.” It always does.
- Fresh flowers from the Wegmans flower department.
- Scrolling through iPhone pictures and videos I’ve taken of the kids. I can’t get enough of their sweet faces, and looking at them is my favorite quick reward during the day before I move from one task to the next.
- Podcasts! I have been loving listening on my car rides to and from work each day. I really enjoy the podcasts from Book Riot – the Book Riot podcast, All the Books!, Reading Lives, Dear Book Nerd and Oh, Comics! – and others like Bookrageous and Tosche Station Radio, but can’t listen in front of the kids, because occasionally they say words like “sucks” or “crap,” which I don’t want Peanut repeating at school. So I’ve found a few family-friendly podcasts to mix in, including Sorta Awesome, Read Aloud Revival, and Travel with Rick Steves, and the kids and I listen to those, and then I squeeze in my grownup podcasts when I’m alone in the car. (I’m particularly obsessed with Tosche Station Radio. An entire podcast about Star Wars? Come ON! I want to be friends with Brian and Nanci.)
- My other car listening – definitely not when the kids are in the car – is the “Hamilton” soundtrack. It’s pretty much playing on repeat in my head at all times these days. (“The man is non-STOP!”) And the show is now on my bucket list, right up there with “Book of Mormon,” which I still have not seen. I’m following Lin-Manuel Miranda on Twitter and loving all the cool tidbits he shares about the show.
- Supergirl. I’m not a big TV watcher, but every so often a show comes along that Steve and I both fall immediately head-over-heels for, and Supergirl is one. In a season in which we’ve been like ships passing in the night a lot of the time, at least we can count on a weekly hour curled up on the couch together watching Kara and James and Creepster McFriendZone and Alex and Hank and Cat. (Who else kind of loves Cat the most? After Kara, of course. I just can’t help it – I adore her. She’s so snarky and fabulous. I mean… “That handsome little hobbit who has more cardigans than you do.” Dead.)
- Revisiting my summer pictures. I recently pressed “order” on our 2016 family yearbook (after several evenings creating and editing it when I should have been doing other things) and looking back over our summer pictures made me so happy. We had such a great one. There are a few pictures in particular that I can’t stop going back to over and over. A picture of the ocean I snapped on vacation in Hatteras. Peanut picking blueberries (kuplink, kuplank, kuplunk). Nugget asleep in the Ergo at East Aurora Food Trucks ‘n Fire Trucks, his little “happy” hat turned backwards on his head. I look at those pictures, and I feel warm all over.
- Good books, as always. Disappearing between the pages – there’s nothing like it.
What’s saving your life these days?