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?
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.💜