balance · snapshots

All The Things (November 2018)

I have made a solemn vow to myself that I will return to my biweekly posting schedule as soon as J.J. starts sleeping through the night.

I’ve considered trying to make a lesser commitment in the meantime. I could commit to posting once a week or twice monthly. But nothing sounds quite right. So I will continue to plug on, writing when I can and trying my best to get back on track with biweekly posting.

Here are all the things for this month:

Things I’m Reading: Just finished a fantastic book: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green. Loved it! I then started A Ladder To The Sky, by John Boyne, and I’m loving it so far. I am definitely reading slower than I usually do. #momlife

Things I’m Watching: I’ve been keeping pretty up-to-date with Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and The Good Place. I am continually amazed with these two shows. They keep shifting and changing and still (IMHO) making me laugh and keeping my interest.

Things That I’m Struggling With: Finding time to write and exercise, and maintaining a healthy diet. I do feel somewhat refreshed after my four-day holiday weekend, so I am hoping that I can keep myself on track this week. I don’t have high expectations for exercise; my goal is to do a little yoga every morning, move as much as I can throughout the day, and run on the weekends.

I feel recharged and ready for the month of festivities ahead. Bring it, December!

books + reading · snapshots

All The Things (September 2018)

Wow, wow, wow.

This month, the biggest THING is this: We have a new baby boy, a new adoptive child. He is sweet and wonderful and perfect and we are overjoyed.

We’ve been on the adoption wait list for a while, but we haven’t been waiting nearly as long as long as we waited for our oldest child, Edgar. So we were blown away when we got the call from the adoption agency and brought our new son home two days later.

So, there are things this month – but the biggest thing is the tiny baby boy asleep in my arms as I write this.  As for the other things –

Things I’ve Been Reading: The latest Cormoran Strike novel from Robert Galbraith, also known as the alias for J.K. Rowling. Also read this month: How To Be A Happier Parent, I’d Know You Anywhere, and Buddhism Is Not What You Think.

Things I’m Contemplating: How to read the books I want to have read. Like, I want to read books about adoption, mindfulness, and parenting – but they are often way less appealing to me than a good novel. I have no answers; it’s just something I’m thinking about.

Things I’ve Been Listening To: Lots of audiobooks! (Possible solution to the thing I’m contemplating?  We’ll see.)

Things I’m Enjoying; The sweet babyhood of our new baby boy.

Things I’m Struggling With: Making sure my two-year-old is getting all the love and attention and activity and care he needs at a chaotic and tiring family time.

Things I’m Watching: Way more TV than usual!  I started the month bingeing on reruns of The Office and Friends. Moved on to falling in love with This Is Us (always two years behind any pop culture craze) and keeping up to date on The Good Place (very much enjoyed the premiere episode of season 3).

I’m sure I’ll write more about our adoption journey at some point – but for now, these are the things.  14203324_1271024389583870_1636348107344372373_n

balance

All The Things (August 2018)

This summer was wonderful. It’s still going, of course – I am not one of those people who forgets that summer keeps going through most of September – but I’ve started work again, so my Summer Sabbatical has officially ended.

I’m grateful that I’ve had this time, and I’ve been handling the return to work (and Edgar’s return to almost-full-time pre-school) pretty well. My days at the new job are flying by, and I’m so happy to have peaceful + playful afternoons with Edgar – I usually pick him up at around three o’clock, leaving ample time for adventures before the dinner-bath-bed routine starts.

This post is a little rushed – as I type this, it’s already the 2nd of September, and my All The Things posts are usually published on the last day of the month. Anyway – here is an abbreviated list of all the things that have been going on this month:

What I’ve Been Listening To: Lots of audiobooks! I finally finished listening to No Bad Kids by Janet Lansbury, and it really helped me to clarify some of my approaches to parenting. It’s all about keeping yourself unruffled in the face of unreasonable and emotionally unregulated toddler behavior. (I’m working on it.)

What I’ve Been Reading: Lots of suspenseful novels, which I often recount in detail to Tamara after I’ve finished. (The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian and Case Histories by Kate Atkinson, for example.)

What I’m Currently Reading: Buddhism Is Not What You Think, by Steve Hagen; Bestseller, by Celia Brayfield; Get The Life You Want, by Dr. Freddy Jackson Brown; and When You Are Engulfed In Flames, by David Sedaris.

What I’m Pondering: How to make routines and stick to them regularly. I’ve allowed myself a couple of weeks of “AHHHHH NEW JOB STRESS CRAZY DON’T HAVE TIME FOR WRITING OR EXERCISE” – and I feel okay about allowing that time. But now, I want to get into a balanced routine that includes exercise, meditation, writing, recovery, and family.

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snapshots

All The Things (July 2018)

This month has been fantastic. Here are all the things:

Things I’m Reading: This month I read The Heart’s Invisible Furies, by John Boyne, and it was INCREDIBLE. So freaking awesome. Currently I am reading Case Histories, by Kate Atkinson, which is good so far.

Things I’m Watching: The Break with Michelle Wolf; reruns of The Good Place; and the first three seasons of Community, which is such a funny show and has been my comic relief and my stress relief. (A great antidote to the daily news feed, which can really weigh on me.)

Things I’m Trying: I’ve been doing some reflecting about how to best keep my weekly routines. One of the big things I want to try is having a Weekly Planning Date with myself – just sitting down with my planner and thinking about the week ahead, with regard to work, socializing, writing, exercise, cleaning, and meals.

Things I’m Grateful For: A great vacation with the family to Oak Island; some time away from work to rest and recuperate; and some creative writing juices, which have (finally) been flowing!

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snapshots

All The Things (June 2018)

There are SO MANY THINGS to write about this month!

What I’m Abandoning: My quest to have a Social Media Day. I decided to abandon this after I didn’t hear about two big events in the time span I would like. However, I am still trying to figure out how to manage this part of my life, particularly in the wake of recent news. How do I stay engaged without becoming overwhelmed or depressed? If anyone has ideas on this, PLEASE let me know!

What I’m Watching: I had never heard of Michelle Wolf before the “scandal” of this year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner. She is HILARIOUS. I’m turning to stand-up comedy as a coping tool during these troubled times.

What I’m Reading: Laura Lippman, a detective fiction writer who writes about the greater Baltimore area. I read two of her books earlier this month, and now I’m halfway through The Heart’s Invisible Furies and I am loving it so far!

What I’m Struggling With: My prolific writing routine. There’s been a lot going on and my productivity level has been fluctuating – this post is a day late as a result. But, only a day, and I’m hoping that I am back on track.

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snapshots

All The Things (May 2018)

So many things!  Here’s my May snapshot:

Things I’m Reading: Oh, boy – so weird. In a crazy twist, I’m reading nothing but nonfiction right now! I finished Behold The Dreamers (my book club book) and now I’m reading Meditation Now Or Never by Steve Hagen and Writing Mysteries, a writing advice book edited by Sue Grafton. I sort of miss being lost in an engaging novel, but I’m also feeling really focused and motivated when it comes to writing, and I know that it is so much harder for me to sit down and write when I have an amazing work of fiction on my nightstand. So I’m going to keep this streak going for the moment! (Although – there’s a Laura Lippman novel on my nightstand. If you’re going to WRITE mysteries, you need to READ mysteries…  Right? ;))

Things I’m Listening To: A new podcast!  (New to me, that is.) It’s called #AmWriting with Jess & KJ, and it’s all about writing and publishing. I’m soaking up all the info and loving it. It’s really helping me to feel motivated and hopeful about my writing goals.

Things I’m Doing: Running a LOT!  I’m up to nine miles and getting ready for Race Day on June 2nd, when I’ll be running the Baltimore 10-Miler.

Things I’m Struggling With: Focusing! I’m so excited about writing, but I have such limited time to get it done, and sometimes it’s hard to know what to work on first, and sometimes it’s hard to stick with one good idea and follow it through to the end.

Things Making Me Proud: I’ve published a minimum of two blog posts per week ever since mid-March. That’s only two months, but it’s the first two months that I’ve been able to post that consistently.  Yay me!

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books + reading · podcasts · reading · snapshots

All The Things (April 2018)

I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting and rethinking about the blog recently.  I have BIG plans in my head!

One thing I am always rethinking is how to do snapshots – brief mini-posts that are more like a “here’s a bunch of stuff I either like or don’t like or just want to blab about.”

For now, this is what I’ve got: a monthly report of all the things. By which I mean, all the things I’m reading, listening to – or whatever else is relevant.

Things I’m Reading: Behold The Dreamers, by Imbolo Mbue. Only a few chapters in. So good so far! Also I have 58 items checked out at the library, which is sort of out of control but also I needed them all.

Things I’m Listening To: You guys – my podcast diet is HUGE right now.

A while ago, I reached out to my social media community and got a bunch of recommendations for non-news non-politics podcasts. One of the best recommendations I got was for The Girl Next Door, a podcast that’s basically two next-door neighbors chatting about life, marriage, parenting, self-care, personality, self-reflection – a smorgasboard of my favorite topics.  I absolutely love it. And, I realized, this kind of podcast is my jam – two smart and insightful females talking about how they live and love and parent and create.

Well, it turns out that there are other podcasts that follow this same format. I have fallen into a rabbit hole of friendly podcasts focused on parenting, minimalism, and work-life balance. It is unending, and awesome. But also overwhelming.

I’ve decided to zero in on The Mom Hour now that I’ve finished listening to The Girl Next Door archives. I’ll report back!

Things I’m Working On: Publishing two blog posts a week, which I’ve never attempted before. I think it’s doable. We’ll see!

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