Happy Little Thing - Vol.2

Proof of that ONE TIME I won a lunch time game of Farkle. I found this among the things I packed up from my desk last week. I miss my work family like whoa so I'm glad for these little reminders of the wildly inappropriate lunch conversation days of yore.


Want to join in the happy? Leave a link in the comments section to your own Happy Little Thing post. 


New Baby, New Body [& a Matilda Jane Giveaway!]

It's been six weeks since Judah was born. My third pregnancy, third birth, third postpartum body. In many ways this third time has been a charm, but when it comes to loving on your postpartum body, well, this time has gone just like the last. Shock and awe, dosed with a bit of frustration. I'm always in awe that my body was able to create and nurture three human beings. I have no problem with the way my body changes during pregnancy, it's the aftermath that can be frustrating. When I'm no longer the vessel for another life I just kind of want to feel like me again. The body you're left with can feel so foreign and just kind of off. It's not necessarily bad but it can be so different than what you're used to. 

I'm still wearing maternity pants with no prayer of fitting into my regular ones any time soon. Some of my old shirts fit but some are way too tight (thanks nursing!). I'm in the in between stage where you have to seriously consider buying a new wardrobe for the interim since you have no idea how long it will last. You're in a no (wo)man's land because everyone loses the pregnancy weight on different timing and from different places. No one can tell you your future. You can either choose to dwell on it or you can choose to accept it and move on. I choose the latter, most days.

Matilda Jane sent me some fun Spring clothes during this in between period and I was so thankful to have something cute that fits. I immediately tried on the shirt and the dress when they arrived in the mail and loved how they felt. They are forgiving in the best ways to a new mama who has new curves. The dresses are exactly what I'm looking for to fill in my summer wardrobe: unique, bright, and stretchy! They also have the cutest summer clothes for little girls and now babies!

I want to share this part of me because it's real and it's a place so many women find themselves. And I don't want to feel bad about my new body or leave this part of my history out. It's my here and now and I'm thankful to have a few fun new pieces of clothing to help me embrace the current, not bad just different, me.
I also want to share another Matilda Jane Clothing $50 Giftcard with one of you internet friends! Whether you're looking for something for yourself, a friend, your daughter, or just a cute little baby you know, Matilda Jane is sure to have something great! To enter leave a comment on this post with what you would buy and for who. And feel free to share any of your own postpartum body image thoughts if you feel so inclined! I'd love to hear your experiences too! The giveaway will be closed Thursday 4/17/14 at midnight with the winner announced Friday morning! Happy Matilda Jane hunting!
[Disclaimer: Matilda Jane Clothing sent me the above items in return for a product review post. I was not compensated in any other way and all opinions are my own.]


Happy Little Thing

A few posts ago I wrote about happy. And then I stumbled across this quote (thanks Tumblr!): 
I couldn't find the author but this sentiment expresses exactly how I feel about happiness. It is not a consciousness level that you magically unlock and then are happy for the rest of your life. There is no "happily ever after" in this life. Life is full of ups and downs, trials and triumphs. If you are on the lifelong search for eternal happiness you will be disappointed as you will fail.
What we need to focus on instead as humans is those small moments of happy in our lives. Because sometimes life is hard. Sometimes it is dark, and scary, and hopeless. And finding anything to be happy about feels impossible. But it's finding those little glimmers of light in the dark that help you get through those long days, months, years. Keeping your eyes open just enough to see that small speck of light may be the tiny bit of hope you need to keep going.
Other seasons of life happiness is abundant, it's everywhere you turn. Puppies, sunshine, and rainbows are around every corner. In those times it's so much easier to just BE HAPPY. But since those times are usually fleeting it's important to cultivate an attitude of finding the good things in your life no matter how small. Because all those little things add up to a lot if you just take the time to notice them.
On Wednesdays going forward I am going to post my "Happy Little Thing", something that struck me over the past few days that made me stop and smile. It could be a photo, a quote from my kid, a song, a moment, anything. It may involve a long explanation, it may have none. I'm going to leave it open each week so others can feel free to join in. We are our own biggest obstacles on the road to leading happier more content lives, so let's work on getting out of our own way!
Happy Little Thing Volume 1
"Go West" by the Pet Shop Boys
A Tumblr friend mentioned these guys and I couldn't help but think of this song and smile. I can't listen to it without singing and dancing and thinking of how relevant the song lyrics are to my life. And the video is terrible! I mean, what?!?! The song still rocks though. 


What I Read - March Edition

It's no secret that I still love reading a healthy dose of YA fiction and Sarah Dessen happens to be one of my favorite YA authors. I just did the tally and this is the eighth book of hers I've read. She nails teen romance/first love, which I have a huge soft spot for given the husband and I started dating at 17.

Bookish Auden chooses to spend the summer on the beach with her newly remarried father and his young wife and new baby. She plans to spend her summer before college reading ahead for her first semester classes but her plans change when the people of the small town of Colby start to steal her heart. It all starts when she offers to do the bookkeeping for her step-mom Heidi's clothing store. While there she begrudgingly befriends the girls who work there and then the boys from the bike shop down the street. When she first meets Eli she can't peg him. But as they both discover their shared insomnia and start up a quirky friendship it's hard for romance not to bloom. But with all of their individual baggage will they both just get in the way of the good thing they have going?

Though this was the classic girl-meets-boy that Dessen is known for it really didn't draw me in. Even though I did see a lot of myself in Auden, I couldn't really relate to anything in the story. The characters seemed nice, and Dessen tried to make them multi-dimensional but it just fell really flat. I wanted to like it a lot more than I actually did. If you are looking for some good YA summer-like romance, check out her books This Lullaby or Someone Like You or The Truth About Forever.

A few years ago I fell hard for a show called Parks and Recreation. I have seen every episode on Netflix at least three times, my absolute favorite being Season 3, Episode 13 "The Fight" [clip of best part]. Dancing Ron Swanson for the win! As I watched the show I also learned (via my husband) that there were many similarities between the stoic Swanson and the actor that plays him. The idea that a man as magnificent as Ron Swanson existed filled my soul with joy.

Well, I came to find out that while they do share some similarities, Nick Offerman is definitely his own man. Luck has it though that he is actually way cooler than Ron. Hard to believe, I know. One awesome thing? He's married to Megan Mulally who not only played the hilarious Karen Walker on Will and Grace but also plays Ron's second ex-wife on Parks and Rec Tammy 2. When I found out they toured together doing comedy I added that to my bucket list. Another thing: he is delightfully non-conformist. Woodworking is a hobby he picked up as an Illinois farmboy and it is what paid his way through his early days acting. He has his own woodshop committed to making quality goods. When I strike gold I'm going to have a kitchen table commissioned by the Offerman Woodshop.

I adore Nick. He is independent, intelligent, and and advocate for simple living. His book is filled with entertaining stories from his life and his grasp of the english language made me want to start studying the dictionary. This man has a way with words. If you're a fan of Ron, you're a fan of Nick and need to read this book.

"Here's my trip: Our cool, new technologies provide us with a surplus of convenience, and it seems to me that an overabundance of convenience leaves us with a surplus of leisure time. Our technologies then provide us with a panoply of choices of choices of ways in which to fill that time, like video games, social networking, vapid television and film content, etc. We thereby end up spending money and time upon "their" diversions, when we could have been just performing all of the simple acts that our technologies are savings us from the first place. Driving our vehicles. Looking at our maps. Fishing. Walking in the woods. Doing the dishes. Splitting firewood. That's living, plain and simple, and I feel like a crotchety old man saying this, but there is a great satisfaction in a drying rack full of dishes that cannot be found on Twitter or Scrambley Town. By all means, we should use these wonderful new tools in all the wonderful ways we can, but we should also be wary that they don't begin to consume us, devouring our time and money that could be better spend on a mouthwatering stack of sawn oak planks."

Oh, and did you hear the news?! Eleanor and Park is being made into a movie with the author writing the screenplay! No release date yet, but set to film next year. I can't wait! I mean, I feel like I've been waiting for the Fault in Our Stars FOREVER, but only two more months until that release! Eeek!

[Disclaimer: If you click on the above Amazon links and purchase anything I receive a small commission from Amazon. Like a few cents, which I appreciate greatly. Buying from Amazon is awesome, but your local library or independent book stores are pretty cool too.]


Not Quite Spring

I'm writing this post on my phone nursing a wee babe who can't seem to sleep without being wrapped up in mama. It's so awesome to have the opportunity to be a nursing mama one last time, but this week it has taken up more time than ever. That just means I've spent all of my time in front of the TV instead of reading or writing. Who says I can't post from my phone though?

Spring is here for many but not quite for us. We got 8 or so inches of snow last night. We're hoping it all melts again over the weekend so this never ending winter will finally leave us with a lush green Spring. I am itching to get our garden planted since we didn't start seeds indoor this year. All the planted gardens on Instagram are revving my engine and I can't wait to join the pack!
The big boys are off to two separate sleepovers tonight and papa and I are looking forward to a quiet night "alone". We plan on watching Anchor Man 2 and resting up from our morning shoveling snow. Since I'm on maternity leave and we had childcare (thanks G'Ma!) I helped the husband out with his snow route. It was hard work but my body seemed to like it. After being more sedentary during my pregnancy I felt ready to get back into the more physical routine. Gardening and yard work and chasing after two small boys while carrying a third will help get me even more fit again this summer.

I love the changes Spring brings, so it needs to hurry up and get here already!
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