Hey loves. How is life? What are you super into, lately? I’ve got a list of things that are filling my day with extra goodness and I can’t wait to share them with you. And, please, let’s make this interactive. I’ll show you mine, you show me yours, right?
Ok. That was borderline inappropriate. I apologize. Let’s get into the list before this pony gets away from me.
The Happy List
-As has been true for about a year now, podcasts make me happy. They fill my ears and my life with so much goodness. They lift my soul up when it’s feeling down, they offer inspiration, and more often than not, they bring a smile to my face. Plus, there are whole podcasts dedicated to telling your kids stories which means they will be occupied AND EDUCATED while sitting in the back of your vehicle without ever asking to “watch a show.” Glory be.
Right now I’m loving Tsh Oxenrider’s podcast, The Simple Show. Start with her latest episode because it also includes another favorite author, instagrammer, stylist and mom: Erin Loechner. In episode 88, “No & Yes,” they discuss a book that is still sending shock waves through my body almost a year after reading it: Essentialism, byGreg McKeown.
Listen. Most people read Essentialism and respond with something along the lines of: “This sounds great. I want what he is talking about. But life just has too many demands. There is too much I have to say yes to and too much I can’t say no to.”
Let me do you a solid by stopping you right there. Everything in life is a choice. Everything is a trade off. For every yes that you feel you have to say yes to, you are automatically saying no to a whole laundry list of items. The only person who has the freedom to tell you what you “have” to say yes and no to is: you, God, and any helpful insight from your partner/spouse.
Most people read this book and then try to keep their life EXACTLY THE SAME while attempting to implement the ideas mentioned in the book. That, is a fools errand. There are so many things we have in our life that we deem “have tos” that in all reality are “want tos” and “this thing makes me feel comfortable.” If you really want to start saying yes to the essential few and no to the nonessential many, then it starts by understanding that the first thing that has to go are preconceived notions about comfort, what we “have to do,” and what we are falsely relying on for security.
If you want to change your life, pick up Essentialism. But first, decide who is driving your bus. No, not an actual but. Gosh, stop being so literal. I mean the proverbial bus of your life. You have the keys, but you keep throwing the keys to everyone else. Walk over, take back your dang keys, park the bus, and read this book.
Oh, and subscribe to The Simple Show podcast.
Whew. That was supposed to be like a quick blurb, but apparently my feelings are not quick blurb type feelings. Let’s move on.
-Mike and I needed a new tv series to watch together at night, and after watching and loving Newsroom, we decided to give another, older, Aaron Sorkin show a go – The West Wing.
So far, we are only halfway through season one, but we are enjoying it. It’s funny and smart and it has that weird half lit look that we all know and love about shows from the early two thousands.
Oh, and the fashion. The FASHION! Yikes. 80’s style, yes please. 90’s style, I’m all in. But good grief. What happened in the early 2000’s??? Whatever it was, it was ugly, and I beg it not to come back.
-I, like most rational human beings, love avocado toast for breakfast, lunch, and snacking purposes. Recently though, I discovered a hack that, in my humble opinion, is akin to Newton’s discovery of gravity. Are you ready for this? I go to Aldi. I head to the section where they offer speciality cheeses and….wait for it….guac….and PRESTO! I have a fancy, pre-made avocado spread to smear on my toast each morning. Solid gold, man!
-Rather than my normal cup of jo, I’ve been ordering a double shot of espresso when Mike and I are out for coffee. It’s the same great taste and zing without having to hold on to a coffee cup for an hour. Plus, as my friend Holly likes to point out – it’s great poured over ice cream. I agree, Holly. I agree.
-I mentioned this the other day in another post, but this summer I’ve really enjoyed getting out for walks with Beatrice. I’ll get myself a yummy piece of
avocado pablano pineapple guacamole toast and then get her out of her crib, still all warm and soft and sleepy, and tuck her right into her stroller with her breakfast and milk waiting for her. The mornings here have been just lovely lately. The temperature has been warm but mild. The air has been gentle, with just the slightest hint of a breeze. Sometimes I’ll listen to a podcast or music. Sometimes I just listen to the birds and Bea’s sweet little hums. But I enjoy all of it immensely.
-Even though my kitchen is all torn up, I’ve still been cooking my normal amounts because, you know – kids. I have made a few changes, though. I use paper plates. And I don’t meal plan. I just go grocery shopping for fresh produce and then throw something together each night based on what’s appealing and what kind of schedule we have. It’s actually been pretty freeing. I’ve been making quite a few salads because it’s summer but also because salads are my favorite. I made this salad recently for a party we went to and goodness, it’s delicious. Try it!
-I’ve been collecting books to read aloud to the kids, particularly Theo, this upcoming year for homeschooling. Recently I came across a stack of Hardy Boys mysteries and was so excited to add them to the collection. I know my boys will love listening along. I’ve had a few people reach out to me to inquire how we are handling homeschooling, so I plan on doing another post that talks about our plan, our education philosophy, and some of the resources we are using. Stay tuned! But in the mean time, email me if you have any specific questions.
-What is the deal with air plants? I love how they look, but seriously, I feel like I’m going to kill them the first week. Looking for a friend here. Please advise.
When our kitchen/first floor reno is complete, I’d love to fill the space with live plants. I have my eyes on a few, but I’m totally open to suggestions. I’m really digging (ah! A pun!) the look of these fiddle leaf plants, but sheesh, they are kind of pricey. I have your typical aloe vera and philodendron, but I’m looking for some variety. Let me know if you have any ideas for something interesting but not too temperamental.
-This summer has been so weird. We normally entertain weekly, hosting dinners and dinner parties and kiddos for play dates. But this summer, with our house under construction, we’ve been on the receiving end of hospitality. It’s been super strange, but also, super touching. I mention this only to say, please don’t wait until everything is perfect to extend an invitation to someone. Goodness, one of my favorite nights this summer was when our “come over for a campfire” invitation to our friends turned into eating s’mores out of a cast iron skillet on the back patio because of rain. We couldn’t really go inside because our inside was torn up, but that didn’t even matter. We just hung out and enjoyed ourselves. And I can’t tell you how so many of you have rescued me this summer. Whether it’s inviting me and my kids over for a play date or scheduling a moms-only break, these invitations have literally been the fuel that has kept me going.
I’m so grateful that we get to renovate our house. Like SUPER grateful. But also, you guys, this is hard. I’m starting to lose it. Everything is torn up and everything is messy and there just doesn’t seem to be an end in sight.
But thank goodness for friends.
And that, I guess, is my final but most important thing that is making me happy right now. Friends. Friendship. Community. My fellow mommas. Life really can be difficult, but I think that is why God gave us friends. He knew that there is nothing we can’t face – together. Thanks for being in this with me