January 2022 - newsletter #9
Thanks for being here! This monthly-ish newsletter is where I share a round-up of life lately - what I'm enjoying, reading, learning, buying, doing, thinking about, and more. It is a mix of motherhood reflections, personal stories and photos, mental/emotional health updates, plant and home decor tips, blog posts round-ups, travel ideas, products I recommend, brand marketing tips and tricks, articles I enjoyed, quotes that resonated, and really anything else that comes to mind.
Today is my 33rd birthday! I’m a pretty sentimental and reflective person all of the time, but the New Year, quickly followed by my birthday always makes me extra introspective in January. ✨ I woke up today with a kiss from E, a massive bear hug from Winnie, and Lucy singing me happy birthday. I’m writing this as I feel the ocean breeze from our balcony, overhearing Lucy and Winnie’s laughs at the pool. I’m so lucky. I’m reminded today that the small things - these moments together, these three people who mean the entire world to me, my health, the friends/family I care about deeply - are the big and important things. I know I often share the messy and hard parts of life, and it’s brought me so much comfort and encouragement to connect with others over our shared experiences. But truly - days like today remind me how insanely fortunate I am. There really is so much to be grateful for and I want to go into 2022 and a new year of life really prioritizing thankfulness again.
We are currently in Belize on vacation! We just wrapped up four days in the jungle and are now spending a week on the beach! This is our first international trip in 2+ years and Winnie’s first time abroad. We’ve done an annual international trip since we’ve been married (sometimes two!) and it was something we desperately missed. etc. It’s a huge privilege to be able to (safely) do again and we are so grateful.
Lucy’s 4th birthday and Winnie’s 2nd birthday are coming up! Their birthdays are three weeks apart (late January and mid-February) and we haven’t thrown a proper birthday party since Lucy’s first birthday! 😭 I was super pregnant for Lucy’s second birthday and didn’t want to take it on and we were in deep Covid times for her third and Winnie’s first birthdays. We are still playing it by ear, but I’m hoping to do a joint dog-themed party early February for them! 🦮
REFLECTIONS (a few things I’ve shared on my blog and/or Instagram lately)
“I had high hopes for 2021 after the ‘unprecedented’ and tumultuous 2020, but honestly, the year felt harder and more complicated in many ways. I’m learning comparing doesn’t help — but to accept each year (or experience) as its own. both full of good and bad, beautiful and hard, joy and loss.” Here’s a little honest 2021 recap and reflection.
Reflections from the other side of COVID: I wrote this blog post in the fall after we had Covid. It does not discuss certain specifics like how we got it (we don’t know), physical symptoms, etc. but instead focuses on the emotional and mental aspect of getting Covid and our time in isolation/quarantine. It is personal reflections and lessons learned from a less than ideal time. I know so many people have gotten Covid lately (especially right before Christmas 💔) so hopefully this provides some solidarity and encouragement to you.
“The days and weeks leading up to Christmas are often filled with hope, anticipation, celebration, wonder, togetherness, and excitement. but that stuff lives in our ordinary days too — we just have to look for it and cultivate it ourselves sometimes.” 💫 (more here about how there is so much more to look forward to after the holiday season)
THINGS I RECENTLY PURCHASED (OR WERE GIFTED)
I am obsessed with Youswim swimsuits - I bought my first one last summer and then another before this trip! The swimsuits are ‘one size fits all’ with thick, super flexible fabric. They are so cute and really make me feel confident and GOOD! Plus, I love how the brand’s inclusive marketing/photography showing people of all body types/sizes, skin tones, etc. I have the Eva High Waist Two-Piece in Sage and the Poise High Waist Two-Piece in Aster.
I’ve really enjoyed this book To Light Their Way: A Collection of Prayers and Liturgies for Parents and find myself flipping to specific pages during different times, like ‘a prayer for a stressful morning’ or ‘a prayer for travel days’. I have a complicated relationship with The Church right now, but personally do find a lot of hope and comfort in prayer and found this book really encouraging and lovely.
One of the girls’ Christmas gifts was a basket filled with Schleich animals. They came highly recommended from so many people and truly, the girls have been played with them every single day since they opened them! I love that they can be used in the water and it’s so sweet to see how playful and imaginative they are. 10/10!
I’m basically an unofficial brand ambassador for the Brushstoke app. How cool that it turns photos into paintings! Example below and also here and here.
MIGRAINE RELIEF TIPS & TRICKS
I had a slight migraine for a couple days that really came to a head (literally and figuratively) on Wednesday during our flight. It was…truly awful and I have so much empathy for those of you who have chronic migraines. 😩 I was limited in my relief options on the plane, but a Midol, an ice pack on my forehead, a cup of coffee, and slow deep breathing (in for five, out for five) while curled into a ball in my seat seemed to help. I asked y’all on Instagram for your migraine relief tips and tricks and got some wonderful advice! THANK YOU!
Supplements: butterbur, magnesium, riboflavin
OTC pain meds: Excedrin Migraine was top recommendation but also Extra Strength Tylenol, Aleve, and Advil work too
Topical: peppermint oil and Equilibria CBD on temples
Other: chiropractor, acupuncture, blue light glasses (preventative), drink tons of water, caffeine (soda/coffee), ice eye mask, limit screens, pressure on tension points on head, humming, eat foods high in estrogen (specifically when you have migraines around period/ovulation), high-intensity workout
Some of your migraine relief routines:
Dark and quiet room with eyes closed
Hot bath with ice cold cloth around neck
Sparking water, two Advil, and a nap
Frozen peas on back of the head, peppermint oil, four Advil and a soda
Feet in really hot water (pulls blood from head to feet) and then lay down with head elevated to rest
Electrolytes, salty food, ibuprofen and a Benedryl
One in Me I Never Loved by Carla Guelfenbein (currently), Afterlife by Julia Alvarez, The Girl from Widow Hills by Megan Miranda, The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett by Annie Lyons and Oona Out of Order by Margarita Monitmore. Really liked all of these! Definitely been on a ‘beach read’ kick lately — but I’m sure I’ll get back into my sociological / self-help type book mood soon. 💛
FROM MY CAMERA ROLL - vacation edition!
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