Warning: this one is all over the place. Stream of consciousness. No filter.
ONE I’ve had bouts of baby fever lately. I don’t know if it’s my age (37) or the fact that all we had planned for this year didn’t pan out. I haven’t felt baby fever since I was trying to get pregnant with Kaitlyn so it’s been crazy to experience. I want to share this because I get messages asking how I knew I was done with kids and the truth is that I don’t think I’ll ever be that woman that “felt done.” Paradoxically, our family feels complete and I adore our close-knit unit of four, which has me assuming it’s just an age thing; my body checking it to ask- you sure you’re done?
The baby phase is over: how I came to accept it.
I know we are not having any more babies, so this is also been spilling over into puppy fever. Sigh… I guess I’m just craving something more to nurture? Maybe I should get a plant. Or a goldfish? 😉
TWO Grief is ever-present in my days. I meant to read books on grief, but I didn’t. So maybe this is normal? But I think about my dad a lot, multiple times a day, even if it’s just a brief, passing-by thought. If I mention him aloud, my eyes will tear up in an instant, but if it’s just inside my own head, I can deal with it better.
In many ways it still feels wild to me that he’s really gone. Is this denial? Again, I don’t know. I just still haven’t been able to wrap my head around the fact that such an important man in my life since the minute I was born isn’t a phone call away anymore. Sometimes it feels like he’s just on a trip and will be back at some point.
I’ve had some requests to write about grief, but I don’t feel like I have much to say. I’m very much still in the depths of processing and don’t see that changing anytime soon. Strangely I feel like I am OK emotionally (though this passage probably doesn’t sound like it), but I am still learning to live in this new world and truly wonder if I’ll ever get to a place of peaceful acceptance and understanding where the thought of what he had to go through doesn’t make me immediately start to hyperventilate.
I find my peace in nature. Hawksbill Trail was magnificent.
THREE I’ve poured many hours into creating gift guides for the girls’ ages and I am so pumped to share them with you. I’m posting them on Sunday. I hope they are helpful for your holiday shopping needs.
I also wanted to say thank you for supporting me by shopping through my affiliate links throughout the year. I have cut down drastically on the number of sponsored posts I take on because unless a brand is a really good fit, it just doesn’t feel right. Affiliate links and the ads that show up on my site are my main sources of income and I really appreciate your support, whether it’s through purchases, engaging with my content, sharing my content, or simply the kind words you send my way. They all help so much.
I’m in the process of a rebrand and redesign for A Healthy Slice of Life and can not wait until it launches (looking like January-ish right now). Along with it, my goal for 2021 includes cutting back on my number of ads because I know they can be disruptive to the reading experience. I have some new projects/products in the works that I’m looking forward to creating that I hope will be valuable to you and allow me to decrease display ads. Now I’m off on a tangent, but my point was this- I appreciate you being a friend, reading along, and supporting me. It means a lot to me and does not go unnoticed.
FOUR Weighing the risks of what’s OK to do and what’s not right now is mentally exhausting. With soccer ending, the girls and I are fairly isolated. They do weekly music lessons (private), but other than that, we’re home. However, David works in the hospitals and so I assume at some point we will all be exposed (if we haven’t already).
I feel like I’m always trying to weigh the risks and rewards for how to live life right now and found Mike Rowe’s blog post (I recommend reading the full thing) put my thoughts into words better than was able to — “somewhere between the “Safety Firsters” and “Covid-Hoaxers,” there’s got to be a sensible approach to living in a dangerous world that’s eventually going to kill us all.”
Judgement in the online world feels stronger than usual right now, too. Comments and DMs that I’m quite certain no one would say to each other face to face have really sucked some of my energy at times. I’m using it as a reminder to be mindful of what and who I surround myself with in real life and online. What we consume is more powerful than we give credit to, so I’m working on placing boundaries, protecting my energy, and being responsible for the energy I bring into spaces and to others.
FIVE Let’s wrap this up on a high note! Next week being Thanksgiving has me focused even more on gratitude. In a year where we have all lost so much, I think it’s even more important to focus on what we do have, the big things and the smaller things. I saw a friend post her list on Facebook the other day and it inspired me to do the same.
- I’m grateful to have a strong, loving, close knit family.
- I’m grateful for my health and the fact that I get to wake up in the morning to a new day.
- I’m grateful to be married to my best friend.
- I’m grateful to be home with my girls and spend our days learning and doing life together.
- I’m grateful to have a home that is warm in both temperature and in feeling.
- I am grateful for Madeline Moves‘ workouts that have allowed us to continue to stay strong and active without a gym.
- I’m grateful my kids sleep in and I like to wake up early.
- I’m grateful for Christmas movies, especially the ones for young kids that my girls still love.
- I’m grateful to be in a position to be able to give. From Feed NC to the Honduras floods to The Batch House rebuilding, I am grateful that when I see a need we want to contribute to, that we have the means to do so.
- I’m grateful for good food.
- I’m grateful for the beautiful weather we’ve had this year.
- I’m grateful for joyful people that bring light and positivity and laughter into my world.
- I’m grateful for the lessons I learn and the personal growth I experience with each passing year, even though it comes with gray hairs and forehead lines. Growing older is a privilege and I will continue to remind myself of that.
Heavy post for a Friday, huh? Thanks for listening to my solo therapy session. Having a space to write out my thoughts like this will always be why the blog is the heart and soul of everything I do. I hope you write your own gratitude list and that it inspires you, as it has me, to keep going, keep loving, and keep just doing the next right thing. Happy weekend, friends.💜
Your blog is always a bright spot in my day. I am also grieving the loss of my dad. I can tell you that after 8 years it still hurts but it does get easier to handle. Thank you for what you write I hope you realize how many people you help each and every time you post !!!
Brittany Dixon says
Thank you for your compassion and understanding, Ann. I’m so sorry you lost your dad, too. It’s both hard and comforting to know that the hurt never fully goes away. I’ve heard grief is just love with nowhere to go, and I like knowing that my love for him will never go away. Thank you for your comment and kindness! <3
I love these types of posts! Your content has been spot on lately. As for the baby fever thing…I had a bout this summer too, and it was pretty short lived. (Like a week LOL) Well….that was all it took. I am now 42 and expecting a healthy baby boy in April! My other son will be almost 7, and although it’s not the most typical path, we couldn’t be happier. Like you, I had a difficult year, losing my mom unexpectedly right after New Years. 2020 has definitely taught me that we are never really in control, and that has been what I needed to embrace so much change. As for the baby, I get a lot of “How does it feel to be starting all over?” (Almost like it’s a bad thing). We are SO happy and grateful to have this opportunity to start over. We may never retire now, and it feels to be pregnant and also have arthritis LOL, but I already feel like this new baby will keep us young. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Hug that sweet mom of yours tight.
Brittany Dixon says
Your comment gave me chills, Heather, I’m so happy for you!! I love what you said about 2020 teaching us that we’re never really in control. The best we can do is enjoy the highs and hold on through the lows. I’m sorry about the loss of your mom and I know you will be juggling a lot of mixed emotions this holiday season. Wishing you all the best. Congratulations!
Sue Noel says
I wanted to jump in and tell you two stories, but first offer you my sincere condolences on the loss of your mom.
My own mom had her last child, my little brother, on her 43rd birthday! This month they celebrated 92 and 49!
Secondly, my youngest daughter has a seven-year-old daughter, our precious granddaughter. She has had many miscarriages and we assumed they had quit trying, but three weeks ago she told us they are having a baby boy in early April! The seven year age difference is different from what they had hoped but the baby will be a joy nonetheless.
Congratulations to you and your family!
Thank you for sharing and I love this post, too. “Somewhere between Safety First & COVID-denial with acknowledgment that LIFE is inherently risky” is where we fall, too.
Also you should totally have a third baby 🙂 Third babies are amazing!
although a puppy could also be a lot of fun 🙂 My kids are aware that I told them we can’t get one until 2024 (our youngest would be 6 then). They are basically counting the days . . .
Brittany Dixon says
We all have serious puppy fever! But they’re aware too that we have to wait until we figure some stuff out next year. So word on the street is that Santa might bring them a tomagotchi -ha!
Kelli H says
Love posts like these! I totally get not wanting to write about something you are still going through and processing in regards to grief. I couldn’t write about my fertility struggles while going through it because it was too personal and I was trying to figure it out myself. Trying to process everything. It makes total sense.
Beautiful post! I didn’t feel it was heavy. And it made me excited to learn that you have some fun stuff to share soon with what ever you have been creating. 🙂 I always enjoy reading what you have to share with us. Like you, I have so many things to be grateful for and perhaps I should jot them down myself. Thanks again for blogging and I wish you a fun and blessed Thanksgiving.
Dana Repka says
Love this post – keep it up and never change!!!
The baby fever thing is so interesting, and even for myself I’ve had recent thoughts like “well, I’m still content with 2, but also a surprise pregnancy for me at 42 maybe wouldn’t be AS catastrophic as previously thought… “. I also feel it has a lot to do with much of our worlds turning upside down from the pandemic, and things that maybe seemed like a huge deal or things that were strictly planned out/ controlled prior, don’t seem like such a big deal anymore. Or maybe it is just my mind convincing me it is ready for whatever comes my way. Yesterday I had to leave work abruptly around 1:30 because there was a wildfire in our neighborhood, and our street was in the evacuation zone. Luckily, we were just a few blocks down from the evacuation line, but with a fire so close and some crazy winds, we had to get ready. It was surreal to watch the chinook helicopters doing their water drops from our backyard, and the firefighter response was nothing short of amazing. In the end, we didn’t need to evacuate, but we had friends that did, and somehow managed to keep their cool (and now, evacuations are lifted, no homes burned, and firefighters are working to put out all the hot spots). Maybe 2020 is helping us to see the important things, and put things in perspective.
On grief, I think I’ve mentioned before that when I lost my mom, I felt that loss defined me. And it really did define me, for at least a few years, maybe 5. When I lost a best friend suddenly, it took over a year to really believe she was gone. In quiet moments, when I would lie falling asleep in bed, the voice in my head would remind me she was gone, and months later, that message was still shocking to me. I’m so sorry for the pain and grief you are experiencing.
I’m thankful for: my house, my neighborhood and neighbors who are a wonderful community of friends and good people, firefighters, my school community, my family, “thrifting” with my boys, a stocked refrigerator and cabinets, and trail running (which will now look a little different, as portions of my go-to trail, which I was just on 2 days ago, has burned). It won’t be the same, but it will be okay!
Lovely post. So real and relatable.
Always a highlight to read your posts
I’m so happy that your Gratitude List was a bright light – it sure has been something that has helped me through this year too – because when we stop for a minute and take stock we see how very Blessed and Fortunate we are in comparison and although the days have been long and the Months longer this 2020 – there have and are always small moments to make each day shine!
Thank You for always bringing that back to us all
I can’t wait for the Gift Guide always a huge help and inspiration
As for Baby Fever I get ya – I think you should act on the Puppy Fever though it’s the perfect time 🐶💗💙🐶to fill your Heart and Home with the Love of a sweet Fur Child
Happy Early Thanksgiving I know it’s always going to be so tough Each First without your Special Papa – but hang onto your amazing Family and KNOW Your Pops is right there with You All Sending tons of Love
Brittany Dixon says
Dad used to say : energy flows where your focus goes, and like you, putting that focus on gratitude has helped immeasurably during this year. Thanks for your kind comment and I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
I’m thankful for your inspiring and insightful thoughts! I enjoy reading your blog 🙂
You could have another baby (or have twins with your 3rd pregnancy like we did) AND get a puppy! I don’t think you’d regret either!!
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!
Brittany Dixon says
I don’t see how I could ever regret either of those things either! 😉 More to love! 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving, Tracy!
I also lost my Dad. It has been five years. It is still hard. I sometimes wake up and think wow, I haven’t talked to Dad for a while and then I remember why. I once read a quote by Bono that said something to the effect of your grief never ends because your love for that person never ends. That really resonated with me and I find it very comforting. Also as for the tears… my Mom would tell us it is only because you loved them so much❤️. The first year is so hard and. combining that with everything else 2020 has brought on, be proud of how you are doing. Like others I too am grateful for your blog!
PS. Meant to comment on your game post…check out Blokus and Sequence. We love them!
Brittany Dixon says
I find that comforting too, that grief never ends because the love doesn’t. Funny how the pain of that can actually be comforting. I’m sorry you have been through this, too, but thank you for using your experience to help me. <3
And thank you for the game recommendations as well 🙂 We enjoy Sequence, too, so I'll check out Blokus!
My husband has baby fever! It is so weird we both felt so complete with two and now he is really trying to convince me. I just read Lauren Akins book Live to Love (Thomas Rhett’s wife) and she wrote about how her mom had baby fever when she was 8 and her sister was 6 and ended up having a baby boy and it was the best thing ever to happen to their family…..just saying 😉
Brittany Dixon says
I love that your husband has baby fever! David has whatever the opposite of that is 😉
Your thoughts on grief connect with me. While I did not lose a person per say, I had two miscarriages within 4 months, and the pain is always present, just on different levels. Some days I feel “normal” other days I hear a song, or think about something, and the tears are instantly there. It’s hard. Sending you so much love and strength as you navigate this new season of life ❤️
Brittany Dixon says
Oh gosh, Courtney, I’m so sorry. I’ll be thinking of you and sending love your way, especially during this time of the year. <3