Picture it — a small mountain town in Western North Carolina, 2011.
(I’ve decided to tell all stories from now on à la Sophia Petrillo, just an FYI.)
A young(ish) mom wakes early with a spring in her step. She leaps out of bed rejoicing that her son slept through the night two nights in a row (after much difficulty re-adjusting to a six-hour time difference from their recent travel to MAUI). She puts on her most favorite uniform – sneakers, yoga pants and a long sleeved shirt. Ponytail in hair, a touch of lip gloss and she’s ready to start the morning.
She hops into the kitchen to get breakfasts ready and to make lunches. She bounds up the stairs eager to wake up her angels. They get teeth brushed, dressed and come down to eat. As they eat, she packs bags, loads the car and they’re on their way.
She drops the eldest off at elementary school. Then, for the first time all school year, she makes a right-hand turn at the end of the school road instead of a left. She pulls into the church and chats in the parking lot with a few friends. Bags and second child in tow, they walk into church and down the hall. The boy in her arms pushes out his bottom lip, sadness eminent all over his face. Someone finds him a ball to play with and he’s instantly distracted. As he plays with the ball, the young(ish) mom zips down the hall and out of sight.
She drives straight to the local coffee shop, and orders Her Drink (a triple short, sugar-free vanilla soy latte, because she’s not high maintenance about much, but she takes her coffee very seriously). She sits at the table, opens her computer and sits giddily in silence and aloneness for the first time since May.
For today is the first day this year that her youngest finally goes to Mother’s Morning Out.
It goes without saying that the first thing I’m thankful for this week is 1) Mother’s Morning Out.
2) Gelish. It has literally been about seven years since I’ve worn nail polish on my fingers that isn’t clear. And now that it’s fall (and now that Rachel Zoe is on), I’m obsessed with colored nail polish. The problem is that polished nails are a ridiculous consideration for one who can’t maintain a manicure to save her life. Also, with all the chipping and such, I find it impossible to keep it looking nice for longer than 24 hours.
But then a friend told me about Gelish. It’s a nail polish that’s cured with UV light after each coat (base coat, two coats of polish and a top coat). It’s not acrylic nails. But the amazing thing is that you walk out of the salon and it’s instantly dried, hardened and done. And then it lasts for two (or some have said three) weeks without chipping. What?? So I called the salon and booked an appointment, and walked out with Rachel Zoe red nails. It’s been 6 days and I’ve had no less than 16 opportunities to totally damage my manicure, but the Gelish laughed in the face of it all.
The only two cons to the Gelish are this: 1) it’s a bit pricier than a regular manicure and 2) this particular person that did them didn’t get super close to my cuticles, so the grow-out will be more noticeable next week. But when I go in for a redo, I’ll have her fix that. And I might get a french manicure style to see how that works. At any rate, I’m in love.
2) Naps. As I eluded earlier, Paxton has had the most difficult readjustment time since we got back from MAUI. I think it’s actually a mix of time change, developmental growth, possibly molars, etc. But he’s had some big sleeping issues, which after sleeping through the night since 5 months old has been r-o-u-g-h. So Mama has been taking naps when he takes naps.
On one hand, I feel so incredibly lazy when I do that, wasting a beautiful day in bed. I’m all for a once in awhile nap (or once a week for that matter), but taking a 2-3 hour nap days in a row makes me feel like a Lifetime movie will be made about my life and what a loser mom I am. On the other hand, I’m soooooo thankful I have the opportunity to catch up on my sleep as needed. I’ve been a walking zombie (with gorgeous red nails) lately, which is no good for anyone.
3) Speaking of Maui. For those of you not on Facebook, I just have to post this picture. It brings me joy all the live-long day. So very, very thankful for my amazing brother, his fabulous new wife, and that they chose MAUI for their wedding. (And that’s Greg officiating, Jaana as flower girl and Paxton as ring bearer.) (And I can’t take credit, this isn’t my picture. Doesn’t it look like it’s from a high-end photo shoot?)
4) Girlfriends. Some of my dearest friends and favorite people live 3,000 miles away. And due to life, time changes and more, we don’t have an opportunity to talk on the phone much. (Well, at least I don’t. Especially when you factor in bad cell service.) But because they are such amazing people, they extend me so much grace in this area. What would we do without our friends?
5) Re-prioritizing. I’ve been feeling a heavy sense lately that I need to re-evaluate some things in my life and make some cuts so that I can create room for other things. There are very specific things I want to focus on (my husband, children and home first and foremost). After that, there are really just a couple things I want to fill my extra time with. But, if I don’t cut out some other things, I won’t be able to focus on them the way I want to.
This is just me, so please no one take offense or think I’m setting back the women’s movement 50 years. But here’s the thing — I could do it all if I wanted to. But I don’t. I don’t want to do it all. I just want to do some, and I want to that some really, really well. My DNA is such that if I try to do it all, I do it all extremely mediocre and no one wins.
So I’m thinking and praying and listening and making lists and trying to see where I need to make cuts. It’s hard, and it’s going to disappoint some people. But they aren’t living my life for me. I am.
6) Italian Leather Red Purse. Greg and I went to Italy four years ago with some dear friends, and one of my souvenirs from the trip was a deep red, patent-leather purse. It’s so maj (as Rachel Zoe would say). And now that it’s fall (and now that I have matching red nails), I’ve pulled it out and it brings me 87 kinds of happiness. Most of all it reminds of being bundled up in gloves and scarves, strolling the streets of Florence and Rome, sipping espresso and eating gelato. (These are the kinds of things I’d like to make time for.)
7) Praise Reports. In case you’re in the dark, Mondays are dedicated to prayer on this site, and I’ve been inundated with very serious prayer requests. I post them each week as well as updates and praise reports. We have a great community of intercessors praying for these each week. And I have to say, the praise reports are blowing me away! God just loves to show off, you know. If you have a need, don’t be shy. Let me know.
8) Squeaky Shoes. We got Paxton these cool new shoes for the wedding, and they squeak when he walks. However, not wanting to be disruptive for the wedding, we took the squeakers out so he never knew they squeaked until this week. And my heavens, the kid is ecstatic about his squeaky shoes! It’s hilarious to watch him run and jump to get them to make noise. The bonus? Always knowing where he is in the house.
9) Steve Jobs. I’ve been using Macs since they were square, beige units with a black-and-white screen, five font options and a rainbow-striped Apple logo. He was a legend. His genius was unparalleled and will be missed.
10) Crossing Off Long-Overdue To-Dos. I’ve finally scheduled a dental cleaning and made an appointment for a regular-old physical. At which point I’ll then ask for a dermatologist appointment because I’m sure I’ve got some sketchy moles and such that will require a floppy sun hat and SPF 5000 next summer. But it’s time to not put off this stuff any longer. And it feels good to not have these things nagging me from the recesses of my mind.
Your turn! Let me know what you’re thankful for this week and share the love. Leave a comment below or link up with Candra. It’ll bring you more joy than Mother’s Morning Out and make you feel sassier than red nails in the fall. Fo’ sho’.