A few years ago I had a monthly series of blog posts where I’d share some of my favorite new (and new to me) music. They were some of the most popular posts on the site, but after a while, I just sort of lost interest and stopped creating them. This year, I’m hoping to get back into sharing tunes again more often, as it’s one of my favorite things to do! I should also add that this January’s playlist was approved of and inspired by my 7th grader, which is a rare occurrence. I feel like we are slowly gravitating toward the same music, and I’m sort of holding my breath hoping our teen pop days are over (excepting Britney Spears, of course). This playlist is great for working out, jamming out in the car, or even dancing around your room or office. Enjoy!
Happy new year, my friends! I’m still in shock that 2018 is actually over. I mean, it was a great year, but it went so quickly. I didn’t write here as much as I wished, but that was mostly because life/the calendar was so full, it was difficult to find time to sit down and put together a blog post. It’s hard to complain about life being so full, but I do want to attempt to do more writing for fun in 2019, and that’s really what this blog is all about.
But before we get going on the new year, I wanted to revisit some of the goals I shared here last year that would be my focus for 2018. I’m a pro at overshooting when it comes to goals, so last year I decided to focus on three things as opposed to the giant list I usually make for myself. I wrote posts about all of these at the beginning of last year, which you can read here.
Cut Down on Social Media and iPhone Use
As we entered 2018, I was feeling very overwhelmed by social media and the feelings of anxiety that came along with being attached to the entire world through my phone. So in January, I went on a bit of a social media break, and it was the perfect way to start the year. I slowly started posting to my Instagram, Facebook and Twitter again in the spring, as it was difficult to cut the cord completely with my job and my advocacy work. But in May I ended up having an unfortunate experience that convinced me to take another extended break. I ended up completely staying off social media from mid-May through July, and it was WONDERFUL. I am still struggling a bit with what this means for me long term. I know that social media has benefits too, and it’s a necessity in my work, but balance is hard to achieve. This is something I’m going to keep working on in 2019, with a few planned social media breaks on the calendar. You can read more about my social media break and the resources I used in this post.
Focusing on Friendship
My post about how I wanted to put more of a focus on my friendships in 2018 was my most read and commented post of the year! It turns out I definitely wasn’t alone in my feelings about friendship as a mom and woman in my 30’s. This year I did a couple of things that were out of my comfort zone in regards to friendship. I went to lunch and coffee with women in my circle who reached out after reading my post. I sent a note to a group of friends from all different walks of life, asking if they’d like to join in on a group chat in the Voxer App, an app where you can send voice messages to each other as if you’re having a live conversation. Six women said yes and we have been “voxing” for almost a year! It has been such an incredible journey, as many of these women didn’t know each other prior to joining the group, and we’ve developed such a lovely, encouraging space where we share about everything from raising kids, marriage, career and more. The best part for me has been watching my friends BECOME friends with each other. I would call this group one of my biggest wins of 2019.
Consuming vs Creating
After years of spending too much on fast fashion and ill-fitting clothes, in 2019 I decided to take on the challenge of not buying any new clothing. This goal was harder than I anticipated! It’s surprisingly difficult to go to Target and NOT buy a random garment that I don’t need. But I actually did okay on this one. I did end up “cheating” a few times, buying new running sneakers when my old ones wore out, and a new sweater this fall when I bought Lucy some new school clothes, but for the most part, I stuck to my goal. One of the biggest revelations in the process was how LITTLE I really do need. My wardrobe is fairly complete, and save a few specialty items, I have no reason to get anything new. I feel like this goal really changed my buying habits, and even though the year is over, I am finding myself resistant to fast fashion, instead looking to add pieces that I can wear forever or that are handmade.
What goals did you set for yourself last year? How did you do? I certainly wasn’t perfect, but I’m proud of the progress I made in 2018, and I’m looking forward to adding some new intentions to the calendar for 2019!
Yesterday you turned eight and today is the last day of school before we start holiday break. I’m starting the break with a bit of a “fun headache” from the epic tale that was your birthday. I know having a birthday so close to Christmas can be a bummer (just ask your dad), so I do my best each year to make it extra joyful. This year was supposed to be more chill, since we only do parties every other year, but a late night stroke of genius changed all that when I sat up in bed and thought “We should take the kids to Winterfest at World’s of Fun for Tate’s birthday!” You were thrilled with this idea, so last night we closed down the amusement park with two of your best friends and our family. You were the only ones on the rides by the end of the night, as it was under 30 degrees and most of the park visitors had lost feeling in their toes (including myself and your dad), but it was worth it to see how completely happy you were to have this special celebration.
You are simultaneously goofy and very serious, which is sometimes challenging as a parent. You’re incredibly sensitive and intense, and your moods are EXTRA. You are often the happiest kid in the room, but just as often you can become withdrawn or upset, and teaching you how to feel your feelings, work through them, and come to a resolution has been one of my main goals as your mother. I don’t want you to stuff any of those emotions, but you also can’t wallow, and that’s a hard lesson for me at 36-year-old, let alone you at EIGHT.
This year we dealt with some real fear for the first time as I watched you experience episodes of anxiety. Your fear of thunderstorms and tornadoes spiraled to a point where we were having a hard time managing them. I am so grateful we were able to find a wonderful child therapist who has taught you (and me!) so much about fear and anxiety. I am incredibly thankful we are able to deal with some of these issues now, instead of waiting until you are an adult and so much of your thinking is solidified. I’m so proud of how you’ve handled these obstacles this year and how hard you’ve worked to overcome them. I know this is not a straight path, but what we’ve learned this year will help both of us for the rest of our lives.
Right now your loves include: sports (soccer, basketball, swim team, baseball and recently you’ve started talking about hockey too), cats, your friends, video games, making mama laugh by making derpy faces, and reading. That last one is HUGE for us, since we started this year way behind on your reading abilities. But in the last three or four months, it all finally clicked for you and now you’re reading for pleasure whenever you can find a minute, just like your sister. Your favorite books are Dogman, Catstronauts and the Ranger the Dog series.
Tate, you are bold and brave, often overcoming fears just to prove others wrong. You strive to be the best at everything you do, and want others to do the same. You are kind and sensitive, wearing shirts with sloths and kittens on them because they are “just so cute,” inviting a girl in your class to sit at the special table on your birthday because she was having a bad day, and loving to snuggle whenever the opportunity allows. I am so grateful for you and how you’re growing, learning and changing every day.
A few weeks ago you came into my bed to snuggle and chat, and for the first time in ages, you fell asleep in my arms. I couldn’t believe how big you felt, and I realized it won’t be very long until you will no longer EVER fall asleep curled up in my hug. I felt a bit of sadness for future me, who will miss those moments so much, but then I looked at your face with your long eyelashes fluttering on your cheeks as you dreamed, and decided instead of being sad, I wanted to fully be present in that moment. That way, even when you’re a giant, smelly teenager, I’ll still have that memory to pull me back to these wonderful moments of parenting my sweet eight-year-old.
I love you, Tater.