What I Read…

I set a very low goal of 15 books this year because a) I’m trying to be realistic and b) I need that little high of accomplishment when I finish #15. Currently I’ve read 4.

Linking up with Jana and Steph today for Show Us Your Books!

The Wife Stalker by Liv Constantine* | Domestic Thriller | ★★★/5
I don’t read many thrillers, but my book club picked this one. I didn’t hate it and I didn’t figure it out- I’d say I got 25% solved before the big reveal. I adored the kids. I was confused about the good guys and bad guys (in a good thriller-y way). At times the writing was a little stranger and the timelines felt flubbed, but I was invested and it passed the time just fine. *the author is actually a pen name for two sisters

The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Jenny Bayliss | Romance | ★★★/5
I put this book on hold at the library in late November but it didn’t come to me until last month. (I hate reading Christmas books after Christmas.) This was a not-so-steamy, Hallmark-cute, very predictable romance. I would say it passed the time just fine and would’ve been v adorable to read a week before the holidays. Kate was kind of dramatic in her big decision making, but romance-heroines often are… It was cute; I’d recommend it as a holiday read.

I didn’t make any progress with my book challenge so I’m not going to bother copying and pasting it, lol.

What did you read this month?

My Love of 15 Months

My sweet and savvy little girl is 15 months old today. Since she was born, I’ve been upfront and candid about the struggles of motherhood and parenting and re-defining myself in this new chapter book.

Today I’m just here to say how much fun my little moo-baby is 😊

The newborn stage was not my forte & the baby stage was ok, but the early toddlerhood that we’re in right now is my favorite. M typically wakes up with a smile on her face. She lays in her crib and talks with Cal the Octopus (obviously short for Calamari). She learns something new every day. Her personality is goofy but inquisitive, bold but observant, ornery but sweet. She’s freaking exhausting, but so entertaining. I love seeing her little brain work and solve something new.

Toddlerhood is not without its terribleness, LOL. She has bad moments and grumpy days. Everything is a toy and, as such, everything is a hazard. Dog fur is soft to cuddle on, but it’s also easy to pull. Climbing, running, and exploring are not without their risks.

My mom tells me that we talk to M like an adult. We speak softly & sweetly to her, but we talk to her in full sentences. She understands basic tasks, she can retrieve a stuffy when we ask for it by name, and she can bring us the book we specifically request (of the 5 or 6 oft read board books). When I say, “Let’s have breakfast/lunch/dinner” she heads to her highchair. When I say, “Let’s let the dogs outside” she goes to the backdoor with me. She identifies family members in pictures and in person. She knows the difference between our dogs (and has a favorite, lol).

She loves to brush her teeth, she loves to “CHEERS” with her cup, and she loves Mickey Mouse. I love taking her places (on the rare occasion we get out) because she’s usually well behaved and she LOVES watching the world around her.

This is just an appreciation post to say I love this stage and Miss Moo.

Thankful Thursday

Happy Friday Eve ❤️ I actually don’t like calling it that because I think it slights Thursday, but oh well.

I’m linking up with Rebecca Jo today with a gratitude list.

Family that’s always available and willing to watch Moo. We’ve had some weird, inconsistent weeks lately so M has spent quality time with family. I don’t take their flexibility, patience, or proximity for granted.

My Freelance Job. On a whim I applied and was hired for a freelance position with a local news website that is specifically aimed at moms. I write informative campaigns, not opinion pieces. It’s nice to flex my writing muscles and put my spin on every day topics and news.

Bristol the Pistol. Bristol turned 2 last month and started (her second attempt at) obedience school this month. She’s a Husky-handful through and through, but she’s a good girl. And she is incredible with M. Moo is testing limits and in an aggressive-love phase, but Bristol is a champ.

The B to my D. Both of my best friends are marrying the loves of their lives this year 😊 My best friend Aubrey is tying the knot in SEVEN MONTHS and just asked me to be a part of the wedding party. She and her fiancee have a combined wedding party- only people they both know and love. I am so damn honored to be one of these people. I’ve known Aubrey since we were 10 and seeing her with Megan makes my heart so happy. Once she’s hitched, Aub, Kayla, and I will officially have all been in each other’s weddings 🖤

New Book Club. I love my blog friends and I LOVE being in a book club with my blog friends. In the time of corona I will take any safe get-together I can find, but it’s 100xs better when it’s with my internet friends.

What are you feeling grateful for?

2021 Check In

I think it might be mutually beneficial to have these monthly or bi-monthly check ins… Changing the calendar didn’t solve the world’s problems (and we knew it wouldn’t), but this year already feels a little more tedious than I expected. I don’t think it’s an entire dumpster fire, but I think the ashes and trash are still smoldering…. so all is not great. Ya know?

Personally, I’m in this weird place where I feel like I’m doing way too much… but that I’m also not doing enough. The other day I requested an application for a court-appointed child caseworker volunteer position. When I was telling K about it he said, “You can do whatever you want, but why do you feel like there’s a hole that needs to be filled with this giant commitment? You already take on so much. Do you need to do this, too?”

I deleted the email with the application.

I am a busy person… When I’m at home I force myself to stay on my feet and clean, organize, pick up, declutter, rearrange, etc. until I’m completely exhausted. I never feel DONE, though. It drives K nuts. And once I sit down on the couch, I pick up my laptop, Kindle, or Switch to entertain myself while watching television.

So right now I’m struggling with knowing that what I’m doing is enough. I mean, on one hand I know that it is… but on the other hand I get a wild hair that says I need to do more.

I’m trying to carry the same grace and forgiveness I had for myself in 2020 into 2021… but it’s a struggle. I think a new year just reminds us how long this insanity has been going on. Sigh. But we’re going to get through it.

Tell me what’s weighing on your mind or heart this month. How has 2021 been shaping up for you? Any major accomplishments we can celebrate? Any areas you’re looking to change your mindset toward? Let’s check in with each other.

Amazoning

Like so many, I’ve been trying to shop small and shop local, but sometimes I need it fast and cheap… and there’s Amazon for that.

Before I share all these unaffiliated Amazon links, let me share a few small businesses on Etsy that I’ve been loving lately:

And now for some Amazon purchases…

Kirkland Signature Shampoo & Conditioner | ELEVEN Australia Sea Salt Texture Spray
When I was last at Aubrey’s house I used her shampoo, conditioner, and sea salt spray. And I loved the smell and feel of them… so I came back home and order some.

Dreambaby Pouch Pal | Simple Modern Reusable Food Pouches
Moo gets the majority of her fruit nutrition from pouches. She doesn’t like fruit but she’ll eat these… but only if I’m holding it. She will squeeze it out if I give it to her. To prevent that I got the Pouch Pal and to lessen waste with the throwaway pouches I got some reusable one. We’re still adjusting to both of these items.

Baby Girl WILD ONE Outfit
M’s First (Zoom) Birthday Party outfit. It fit so nicely, the pants are super soft and silky, and I feel like I can match the pieces with other tops and bottoms.

The Home Edit Workbook
Sometimes I make very spontaneous purchases. *face palm* Hopefully I love this, but it’s a pre-order so time will tell. Lol

These were a few Christmas gifts for others:

Cathedral | Burrito Blanket | The Great Gatsby | Cat Sweatshirt
My brother asked for Cathedral and then beat me in two games on Christmas morning. K’s uncle got Moo a burrito swaddle when she was a baby so she returned the favor at Christmas and got him an adult burrito blanket. My sister loves The Great Gatsby so I got her this graphic novel. She also loves her kitties.

I made a few other purchases but they’re not-yet-gifted gifts… so I’m keeping them under wraps.

What have you recently bought from Amazon? (Or, better yet, Etsy?)