Aging in the Age of the Ten Year Challenge

The ten-year challenge meme has hit viral status! Besides thinking about this Wired article about how it’s actually a plot to help facial recognition technology account for age; I keep going back to how awesome all  my friends look!

Seriously, I look at all the pictures (filters and all, haters) and think, wow everyone is really on that glow up! I hope they all see how much they’ve grown as people emotionally and not just physically.

Then I kinda, sorta, posted my own? Looking at this not-quite-ten-year-old-image all I could see was some young kids who drank too much and had no idea how awesome their life together would become. Then I looked at a recent picture of us and I think, man we are looking good, good and happy! And I know and acknowledge how fortunate I am to feel that way.

Growing up my mom ritually colored her hair and rarely left the house without make up on and while I definitely went through a heavy make up phase of my own I don’t remember using it because I felt expected to but rather to say, hey y’all I am feeling myself today, take a look!

I don’t color my hair, or have a skin care regimen a la, Mrs. Maisel either. It’s just what feels good to me, not feeling like I have more on my plate feels nice when I’ve got like 45 plates in the air at any given time. I am looking forward to rocking a salt and pepper pixie in my not so distant future.

                                                           Yea this is more my speed.

I am just ok with aging, which I guess feels unexpected? From as far back as I can remember there were ads, commercials, and expectations about how aging is so terrible you need to spend hundreds of dollars a year on this moisturizer or this mascara to make sure you look like a runway model every moment of every day. It’s a miracle any of us grow up with a lick of self worth! My aging aunt continues to claim to be 39 despite being a bad ass lady not just for someone of her age, but at any age! The woman goes to bootcamp with people who are literally half her age! But she grew up not feeling that her age was an empowering thing, not feeling like she could just age and let that be a thing that would just happen.

Sure I am only 34 but I am also, 34 and getting to the age where 40 is just on the horizon.  Cue Meg Ryan in Harry Met Sally, sobbing to Harry saying, “And I’m gonna be 40”. Sure it’s 5 years away but going towards it feeling like it’s arbitrary feels good and in our lords dumpster fire year of 2019 I take whatever good feelings I can get.

I ultimately share this in hopes that those who aren’t feeling so great about their ten-year challenge can maybe take a gander from a different perspective. I mean seriously ten years ago you couldn’t say you look this good despite the dystopian tragedy that is our current society could you?!

Finally, ask yourself who benefits from you feeling bad about yourself and refuse, because you are all awesome.

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*taps mic* is this thing on?

I’m not sure how I got so far away from writing – does anyone ever? I mean was it the actual distance between myself and the keyboard? All the transition in my life? It was definitely not about being more present because I have wasted more of my life scrolling through social than I would ever actually admit to.

Regardless, lately I have found myself wondering what would happen if I came back to my keyboard and sat down? Would my fingers even know what to do? What would I say? Who am I writing to? What do I even have to write about?

I am not sure I have any of that figured out but I’m here, stretching, so to speak to see what comes.

Holiday Baking is Upon Us So Remember Gratitude!

The holiday baking season is upon us! Headlines are already exploding with all things pumpkin and peppermint and top ten everything recipes. But the important thing to remember is, cookies are really personal .

Yes, you read that right. I think cookies are really personal and it’s important to remember that when someone shares a cookie or other baked good with you. Don’t be a cookie critic! Your friend may really enjoy under baked cookies. Your neighbor may only use gluten free flour. Your sister in law maybe doesn’t bake with refined sugar. That doesn’t make their gift any less worthy. A gift from someone’s kitchen comes with love and time. Remember that even if you crack a tooth on a rock hard brownie.

Happy cookie season!!

 

Family Vacations Have Really Changed

It used to be Tom and I would wake up early one Saturday morning and drive two hours for our favorite breakfast. We’d take the long way to whatever destination we were headed for stopping to see sites and take it all in. But now, we have a toddler so preparing for and even taking family vacations has really changed.

First off they aren’t as frequent. I think I’ve been begging for a trip since our last adventure for Fourth of July 2015. Finally we are one week out from embarking on our next adventure and I’m already starting to pack for the toddler. 20161021_100115.jpg

I’m not alone in this, am I? I feel like I have to prepare him for any sort of weather, any sort of messy day (he loves dirt)  and any way he could possibly be feeling. Then it’s like do I pack the humidifier? How much diaper cream do I need? Should I bring any medicine in case he gets sick on the road (I was always sick on vacation as a kid)?

It’s exhausting so I try to combat that by packing early so I can go back and change things based on the week’s weather reports and how he’s feeling. I am so excited about this trip! But I can’t help but reflect on how different it is now that our family has grown.

I’m actually pretty proud of us for even trying to continue to pursue our love of road trips with the small person in tow. Here’s hoping for the best!

Joyaltee!

You probably read that and cocked your head to the side like, what does that mean? Joyaltee means my kid doesn’t have to wear boring pants anymore!

Joyaltee is an online shop started by a mom who wanted to stay home with her kids and pursue her passion for sewing. Since 2014 Alix has sold hundreds of upcycled items and she was nice enough to send me a pair to write about today.

Being mom means spending extra time shopping for things that aren’t dull, ugly, or repeated a bunch of times for my, still-exploring-all-interests-so-dont-dress-me-in-head-to-toe-anything toddler. That shopping now includes finding mom and pop shops on Instagram to liven things up, that’s how I stumbled upon Joyaltee. I was attracted by the fact that she was making everything out of old clothes. I was hooked when I saw how these designs were given new life by way of harem pants, shorts, or tees for little ones!

This pair will get a lot of love around here. The colors are easy to match, the pants themselves are incredibly soft and they are just the kind of comfy material you’d expect from an upcycled item. More importantly they don’t hinder the toddler while he’s doing his thing. He’s able to go about his day without caring about whether or not his pants make shenanigans more difficult.

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I can’t wait to add a few more pair to our closet and I’ll feel good about it knowing I’m supporting a talented mom of two! Alix has over 25 years sewing experience and her 23,000 Instagram followers who buy up all of her latest styles in a matter of minutes can attest to her talents! Keep your eyes peeled for her next sale!

Hitting the Brakes

It’s fairly early on a Monday morning so you may find it odd to be talking about hitting the brakes during a time when people are typically hitting the gas into a new week.

I bring it up because I’ve already had to hit the brakes on myself. What I mean by that is I had to stop myself from becoming overwhelmed by a new week full of tasks and chores. I got caught off guard because mornings are usually a great time for me to organize and plan and feel like I’m kicking butt, but this morning the dark tunnel of too many things to do and not knowing where to start loomed early and I could feel it creeping up and potentially ruining my whole day. Then I stopped. I took a deep breath looked around and began again. It worked this time. It may not always work but I’m so grateful it did this time.

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I was able to hit the brakes on myself and I will continue to be reminded of that if the tunnel creeps up again later on. Here’s to a great week!

I Don’t Hate My Body

Whew, it is already Wednesday and I’m only now writing my first post for the week –obviously this makes me a slacker. In my defense, I had started a draft on Friday but haven’t yet completed it. I was reflecting on a full and satisfying week.

The reflections came from conversations with a few friends. I have friends in different points in their lives struggling with their unique sets of struggles and it always makes me look at where I am.

I’m the full time stay-at-home Mom to a toddler which is a struggle all its own. It’s an all consuming completely exhausting emotional roller-coaster every single day and that’s not even getting into my own struggles. The past few months I’ve struggled with not having time to workout. Whenever I bring this up people are quick to jump onto the subject of unlost ‘baby weight’ which is not why I want to work out. I don’t hate my mom bod! I don’t hate my body at all. Mom bod, skinny bod, not working out bod. Wanting to exercise is not about hating myself. It’s about honoring myself.

I want to thank my body for carrying the weight of a complicated pregnancy, the weight of a complicated post partum period and the weight of my now 22lb toddler. I want to honor it with care and attention and I want to acknowledge that it won’t continue to get me as far if I don’t take the time to appreciate it.

So this week I stepped into a gym for the first time in MONTHS! I may not get back there for a few more days, but I took the first step and made time to honor my body.

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Now pardon me while I go back to struggling with being a mom to a sick toddler.