Even though Ryan and I have experienced multiple miscarriages in the past and even though I thought I was fully prepared for how I would feel if we lost another pregnancy, everything hit me really, really hard the evening after my doctor’s appointment. I’ve tried to give myself permission to feel what I need to feel and not placate myself with words that bury the hurt and distractions that cover up what I’m feeling. Thank you for your encouraging comments reminding me it’s okay to feel the heartache that comes with losing another pregnancy while still one million percent recognizing the three blessings we have in front of us in the form of our boys.
To say I’ve felt humbled by your stories is an understatement. I honestly cannot tell you how much your words have impacted me. I’ve found myself reading stories about truly horrific losses over the past few days — losses that, by comparison, are so much worse than my own. But you know what? It is the comments from these women that have rocked me. These are the women who have reached out to me to express such immense compassion and love and kindness. These are the women who have told me it’s okay to feel as sad as I do while also holding space for immense gratitude for the three boys we have at home. Seeing the hearts of women whose lives have been forever changed by horrible loss on full display as they’ve sent me such personal messages have shown me, firsthand, what it looks like to go through life loving others. Life could’ve made their hearts hard and bitter and angry but they’ve remained soft and compassionate and so immensely kind. Your comments have impacted me in a way I cannot find words to describe. Thank you to all of you.
Clearly my entire Things I’m Loving Friday blog post could’ve been dedicated to how grateful I am for you guys but I also found myself looking for a bit of normalcy when all the boys returned to school earlier this week. Some moments I feel so incredibly exhausted both mentally and physically and other moments I feel more like myself, the version of myself who loves blogging and this space and connecting with you. That’s where I’m at in this moment so I wanted to do exactly what this weekly series was created to do — focus on some small things bringing me joy right now. Keep on scrolling for this week’s roundup of favorites.
Things I’m Loving Friday
Ever since Pepper came into our lives back in November, I’ve had to refrain from mentioning something about her in every single Things I’m Loving Friday post. She’s truly been such a wonderful addition to our family and brings laughter and joy into our home every day. When Rhett wakes up in the morning, he always says, “Hi Mom! I awake! Where’s Peppper!?” and looks for her teeny body to come wiggling into his room. All three of our boys adore her and while Ryan and I still cannot believe we’re a “little dog family” sometimes, I’m so glad we are because Pepper is the coolest. She also seems to have taken a page out of Sadie’s book in the comforting cuddles department and curled right up on my chest and spent hours cuddling up against me when I needed her quiet comfort most over the past two weeks. Bless dogs and their ability to somehow sense when something is wrong and help ease the pain a little bit by just being there with their love and licks and silent comfort.
Moving while experiencing a miscarriage was, on one hand, absolutely awful. (Honestly, it was mostly awful.) On the other hand, moving gave me a distraction when I needed one and also gave me a sense of accomplishment which ended up providing me with a little boost when I needed one. An organized drawer in our kitchen? Small victory.
Towels unpacked and folded in the linen cabinet? A tiny win.
(I nerded out and watched this YouTube video to learn how to roll-fold towels and made everyone in my family come stare in awe and amazement at my rolled towels.)
As it turns out, I semi-enjoy unpacking and organizing a new space. When we built our new home, we poured a lot of time and thought into our plans and created a lot of storage and closet space around our home, something our first house was severely lacking. It’s been a nice little boost to feel like we’re in a home made for a family with places for toys and games and puzzles other than overflowing baskets in our living room.
I’ve also found enjoyment in decorating new spaces. Chase and Ryder’s room is the closest to being done of any room in our house but we have a bunch of things on the schedule in the coming weeks that should help additional spaces come together. For everyone who said your house won’t really feel like “yours” for several months after moving in, so far they’ve proven right. We’re currently sharing our home with plumbers, electricians, landscapers and more right now.
Oh! I did manage to complete one small space in our home — our foyer! (Well, we still need a rug here but it’s 95 percent done.)
I did some damage at Target to put this one together and am pleased with how it turned out, especially since the high-and-low profile of the stairs made it a little tricky. I hope to have a few more updates to share with you guys soon.
Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware
My rating: A-
I’ve been a fan of Ruth Ware’s novels ever since I first read The Woman in Cabin 10 several years ago. The Death of Mrs. Westaway was another winner. I listened to this one on audiobook amidst all the moving mayhem and it was such a great way to make unpacking feel like less of a chore. The story was captivating, twisty and creative. It wasn’t overly predictable and while it was a long one, I didn’t mind the length since I wanted something to keep me entertained for hours and hours during our move.
The Death of Mrs. Westaway begins when Hal receives a mysterious letter in the mail. In the letter, Hal is informed of an inheritance she is set to receive following the death of Mrs. Westaway, a grandmother Hal’s deceased mother never mentioned. Hal quickly realizes she is not the correct beneficiary of Mrs. Westaway’s will but she desperately needs money and finds herself attending the funeral of her supposed grandmother.
At the funeral, Hal meets Mrs. Westway’s children, her housekeeper and the lawyer tasked with carrying out the will. When no one questions Hal’s identity, she quickly becomes immersed in an increasingly confusing and potentially dangerous situation. Who is the real beneficiary of Mrs. Westaway’s will? Could Hal really be connected to this family in some way? Why didn’t Mrs. Westaway leave more money to her own children? What is this family hiding?
One by One by Ruth Ware
My rating: A-
Talk about a book with a million and one characters! I listened to One by One by Ruth Ware on audiobook and initially thought I would never be able to keep track of all the characters mentioned because looking back to see who’s who is a lot harder when you’re listening to a story than when you’re reading one. Thankfully I trusted myself to keep things straight and even with 5,000 characters to keep straight, this book did a great job of giving characters identifying traits and personalities and mixing them up with a hefty sprinkle of mystery, suspense, twists and intrigue. I predicted the main twist of this book but that did not stop me from enjoying this thriller! (Random note: This was an especially enjoyable one to listen to during the winter months as the book takes place in a snowy chalet.)
One by One begins with a company-wide retreat to a luxurious, secluded ski chalet in the French Alps. The eight employees of a music-sharing start-up called Snoop are gathered together for some company-wide bonding that quickly takes a turn when one of the shareholders in the company creates a surprise presentation to highlight the merits of a lucrative buyout offer. The offer is a controversial one and tensions quickly rise within the company.
Personalities and opinions clash but everyone agrees to hit the slopes despite warnings of severe winter weather. When an avalanche hits and the chalet is completely cut off from all outside communication, concern begins to mount when the group realizes one person never made it back to the chalet from the slopes. As the storm picks up steam and friction between coworkers increases, the group becomes increasingly panicked, especially when another group member turns up dead… and then another…
December 2022 Top 10
Below you will find a recap of the top 10 most popular blog posts and your top 10 favorite items from December 2022. Hopefully this will help you check out some blog posts you may have missed or help you easily locate an item I’ve mentioned in the past that got buried in blog/social media mayhem.
- Easy Orange Juice Marinated Chicken Thighs
- My Mom’s Monkey Bread
- Unexpected Motherhood Gems
- PBF Gift Guide 2022: For Him
- Holiday Pretzels
- Egg White and Oatmeal Protein Pancakes
- PBF Gift Guide 2022: For Her
- Thriller Audiobook Recommendations
- Meet Pepper
- PBF Gift Guide 2022: For Kids
- Rolling Storage Cart (I bought this to organize the boys’ arts and crafts and it’s been SO helpful!)
- Ultra Slim Charger (Our fav charger that charges multiple devices at once and comes with with built-in cords)
- LeapFrog Children’s Laptop (A hit with all of our boys — Great for early introduction to letters and awesome for car trips.)
- Washable Retractable Markers (No need to keep track of marker caps anymore!)
- Lululemon Dupe Hoodie (The hoodie so many of us cannot stop wearing! I have it in a medium in three colors.)
- Children’s Knives (The knives our boys use to “help” cut soft foods in the kitchen.)
- Lululemon ABC Joggers (The pants Ryan wears non-stop on the weekends.)
- Serena & Lily La Jolla Baskets (We love these large lidded baskets for toy storage.)
- Oak Wood Bench (The Target find we’re using in our foyer.)
- Travel Mirror (Love this for travel but I use it nearly every day to do my makeup at the kitchen counter while the boys eat breakfast.)
DIY Memory Boxes (Sharing this one for anyone hoping to begin the new year with a little organization)
15 30-Minutes-Or-Less At Home Workouts (With these workouts you can work up a sweat anytime, anywhere!)
Question of the Day
What is one thing bringing a little sunshine into your life this week?