Today’s Things I’m Loving Friday blog post is a little different than usual, as it is comprised of a few simple things that are making me smile through the pain right now. I will follow my heart moving forward in this space but hope to have some semblance of normalcy on the blog on Monday and plan share a weekend recap with you guys. Truthfully, I need it.
I want to continue to use this space as an outlet but I also want to use it as a place where I can write about things that bring me joy and not feel emotionally exhausted when I finish pouring my heart out in a blog post. Thank you for joining me on this unpredictable journey.
I hope you guys have a wonderful weekend and are able to enjoy quality time with people you love. And if you’ll be watching the Super Bowl, I hope you enjoy the game and lots of tasty treats!
Things I’m Loving Friday
Reading has always been one of my favorite hobbies and a huge source of joy in my life, but right now it’s something that allows me to just be and not think, feel or do anything other than get lost in another world. My mind wanders all day long and yet, somehow, I’m able to quiet my brain and focus solely on words on a page and stories when I curl up in bed at night with a book. I’m not sure I’ve ever felt more grateful the ability to get lost in a book in my entire life than I have over the course of the past week.
I know many of you out there share my love for reading and are always on the lookout for book recommendations, so here’s a brief list of the books I’ve read over the course of the past 10 days or so that I’ve really enjoyed:
Goodnight June by Sarah Jio
Morning Glory by Sarah Jio
The Last Cameilla by Sarah Jio
The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty
You may notice a bunch of Sarah Jio novels featured above… I first fell in love with Sarah Jio’s writing a few years ago when I read The Violets of March and completely forgot about her work until I found myself on the lookout for a book that felt like a bit of a break and a breath of fresh air after I struggled with the intense violence (understatement of the year) in Pretty Girls. (<— Once again, not a book I’d recommend. Though it pulled me in right away, it was just too grotesque and over the top.) Sarah Jio’s novels came back into my life when I needed them most this week and I love the way she combines parallel stories from different time periods that still include plenty of intrigue without feeling like a heavy, overly emotional read. (I described them to my mom as “Hallmark movies in book form” which definitely isn’t doing them justice AT ALL but if you’re looking for an easy read that will hook you almost instantly, check out her books!)
I just finished reading The Hypnotist’s Love Story last night, so I’m looking for more recommendations if you guys have any to share.
- My Little Sunshine
There’s nothing like the deep, gurgly belly laugh of a toddler and the high-pitched joyful squeals of a happy child to make you smile. Ever since I began singing “You Are My Sunshine” to Chase to calm him down at night in his nursery, I’ve said he is my sunshine and he has absolutely been my ray of light through the tears right now.
Chase turned 18 months old last Sunday and I cannot get over just how fun this phase of toddlerhood is with our energetic little boy. He seriously does NOT stop moving which keeps me on my toes and is a welcome distraction in my life right now. He’s so chatty and I love listening to him sing and babble all day long. My heart! Chase, you bring us so much joy and I have a feeling you will never, ever be able to comprehend the depth of the love your mom and dad have for you.
Last weekend, Ryan and I found ourselves talking about our wedding vows, specifically the “for better or for worse” line. I told Ryan that we’ve been so fortunate to have so many “for better” moments in our relationship but, honestly, it’s during the “for worse” moments that I almost feel like I can physically feel the size of my heart growing in my love for him.
Ryan has always said that I am the joy and he is the rock in our relationship and while I still think he brings me a heck of a lot of joy, the incredible amount of comfort, security and unwavering loyalty and support I feel from my husband in good times and especially in bad makes me feel so incredibly grateful for every single day we have together. Even the ones that are filled with tears.
- My Mom
My mom planned to visit us in Charlotte this upcoming Monday but pushed the timeline of her trip up when everything happened last week. I’ve always said my mom and my sister should have a nice-off to see who the nicest person in the world is and I cannot even begin to express what it means to me to have my mother here with us during such a difficult time. There’s something about my mother’s voice that makes me feel like I can finally exhale, cry a river of tears and still be met with only the purest love. My mother is an angel on earth and I am so beyond grateful for her help, support and willingness to drop everything for her family at all times.
In the same breath, I feel like I must also acknowledge the incredible support we’ve felt from both Ryan’s family and my family through everything. I could not be luckier when it comes to the family I was born into and the family I gained through marriage.
- Distraction Projects and Play Dates
I’ve been the queen of distraction projects this week. I’ve been trying to channel my desire for distraction in my life into something productive after I found myself feeling increasingly sad during the quiet moments after my D&C when I simply curled up on the couch for hours. Once my body was ready for movement, I’ve poured some of my energy into various projects, including sorting through old clothes, assembling a gift basket for a family member who is going through a hard time and collecting food for a local food drive.
I am also grateful for my wonderful girlfriends who were so open to talking with me about everything I was feeling this week but were equally willing to follow my cues when I wanted to just be during our play dates and focus on the joy of watching our little ones run around like adorable little maniacs.
Questions of the Day
- What is the last book you read that immediately pulled you in?
I am always looking for recommendations!
- Please tell me about one thing that is making you smile this week.